What is it?
It occurs when the head of the humerus (the ball shaped top end of the bone in the upper arm) becomes displaced from it’s normal articulation (position of movement) with the scapular (shoulder blade) and is mainly due to a fall or collision, it is more common to happen anteriorly (95-98%of cases) as the shoulder is pushed upwards and backwards e.g. a fall on an outstretched arm.
Severe pain is felt in the shoulder sometimes accompanied with numbness of the arm and an inability to move the affected arm even fractionally. The shoulder will also appear a different shape to the opposite side (more square)
• Once dislocation has been reduced (the joint put back into its normal position) the use of a shoulder immobiliser to rest and protect the joint/soft tissues and prevent unwanted movements is useful.