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Dislocated shoulder

Date issuedL July 2021

Review date: July 2023

Ref: D-364

PDF:  Dislocated shoulder final July 2021.pdf [pdf] 693KB

Your shoulder

Inside your body is a skeleton made up of 206 different sized bones. The place  where bones meet is called a joint. Your elbows and shoulders are examples of joints.

Your shoulder joint is known as a ball and socket joint. The end of the  bone in your upper arm has a rounded top; this is known as the ball.

The socket is the place where the ball end of the bone should sit. Yours became dislocated which means the ball popped out of the socket.

Your dislocated shoulder will be put back in and checked it is in the right place with a x-ray.

The muscles around your shoulder got stretched when the ball came out so need time to heal.

Treating your shoulder

Your arm will be put in a sling. You must keep the sling on even when having a bath or a shower.

You should keep your hand and fingers moving on your injured side. Do not lift or try to pick up anything heavy.

You will need to take paracetamol and ibuprofen. Paracetamol helps with pain and ibuprofen helps with any swelling you may have. These can be bought from any chemist or supermarket.

Your doctor may give you stronger tablets to help with the pain. It is important to ask about any side effects and how many you can take.

These tablets can make you constipated (unable to go for a poo).

After your injury

You will be seen in the Fracture Clinic.

You will need to wear your sling for around a month.

You will probably need to see a physiotherapist who will help with your treatment.

If you have a car: you are unfit to drive until you are told that you no longer need your sling.


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