Information About Separated/Dislocated Shoulder Injuries
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There is a difference between a separated shoulder and a dislocated shoulder. It’s important to distinguish a separation from a dislocation because each injury has its own treatment.
The mobility and flexibility that gives the shoulder the ability to twists, turn and reach in multiple directions also makes it susceptible to injuries. The location and symptoms of the injury will determine whether it is a dislocation or separation.
Roughly 50 percent of all people that go to the emergence room with a dislocated joint have a dislocated shoulder. A dislocated shoulder deals with the shoulder joint.
The Humerus (upper arm bone), Scapula (shoulder blade) and Clavicle (collar bone) all merge to form the shoulder joint/socket which is also know as the glenhumeral joint. A dislocated shoulder results when the humerus bone and the scapula separate at the shoulder joint/socket.
There are two types of dislocated shoulders: a partial dislocation (subluxation) and a complete dislocation. A partial dislocation occurs when humerus bone is partially separated from the shoulder/glenhumeral joint. A complete dislocation occurs when the humerus bone is completely separated from the shoulder/glenhumeral joint.
Symptoms Of A Dislocated Shoulder
- Pain and swelling up the the arm and into the shoulder
- Dead arm or inability to move the arm
- Loss of feeling or numbness in arm
- Shoulder appears deformed with a lump over the shoulder.
- Shoulder appears as though it has been repositioned and is now out of place. Arm will face away from body with the forearm pointed forward
A separated shoulder does not involve the shoulder joint. The collarbone (clavicle) and shoulder blade (scapula) connect to form the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint). A separated shoulder occurs when one of the ligaments connecting the collarbone (clavicle) to shoulder blade (scapula) is torn.
The most common cause of a separate shoulder is a slip and fall directly on the shoulder. Car accidents can also generate enough force to separate a shoulder. Also, anything that forces the arm up into the AC joint can cause a separated shoulder.
Symptoms Of A Separated Shoulder
- Intense Pain;
- Swelling sometimes accompanied by extreme bruising;
- A bump or lump or other deformity over the collarbone;
- Reduced range of motion in shoulder and arm and shoulder weakness.
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