A dislocated shoulder is generally caused by a fall onto the arm, although it can also be the result of a sports-related accident. When it comes to how to treat a dislocated shoulder, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention as otherwise the joint can become more painful and swollen. This type of injury occurs when the ball joint of the upper arm pops out of the shoulder socket and in some cases the surrounding tissue can also be torn and damaged.
What are the symptoms?
Before assessing how to treat a dislocated shoulder, you’ll need to ascertain whether that’s actually what has happened. It’s usually pretty obvious if you have suffered this type of injury, as your arm will be painful and you’ll be unable to move it. Your shoulder may look square rather than round, and you might see a bulge or lump under the skin at the front of your shoulder. You should always go to Accident and Emergency if you suspect you’ve dislocated your shoulder. In the meantime, you can support your shoulder with a simple sling.
At hospital, you’ll have an X-ray and sometimes surgery may be needed if the tissues around the shoulder are badly torn. The doctor will perform a reduction, where the arm is popped back into the joint – whilst this is usually carried out in A & E, sometimes it may need to be done in surgery under general anaesthetic.
What to do after your accident
If you’re wondering how to treat a dislocated shoulder after your time at A & E, you’ll find it can take anywhere from 12-16 weeks to heal from this type of injury. It’s important to carry out the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist, and you’ll probably need to take at least 2-4 weeks off work, longer if you have a more physical job. This means you and your family may suffer financially due to loss of earnings.
You can contact Accident Advice Helpline at any point after your accident, although there’s a three-year time limit to make a personal injury claim. Just give us a call on 0800 689 0500 and find out if you could be eligible to make a claim. If somebody else was to blame for your accident, you deserve to be compensated, and our personal injury lawyers work on a 100% no win, no fee basis, so there are no upfront fees to worry about.
Date Published: May 30, 2016
Author: Paula Beaton