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Doctor diagnosing dislocated shoulder of a patient

What is a shoulder dislocation?

In the simplest definition, a shoulder dislocation is an injury to the shoulder. The shoulder is made up of three bones – the collarbone, the shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone, the top of which is round like a ball. The round ball at the top of the upper arm is also known as the humerus and it fits into a cup-like socket in the shoulder blade. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball pops out of the socket. The ball can either be partially or completely be out of the pocket. A partial shoulder dislocation means only a part of the upper bone is out of the socket. Whereas, a complete shoulder dislocation means the ball is completely out of the socket.

Types of Shoulder Dislocation

Anterior shoulder dislocation

Anterior shoulder dislocation

Posterior shoulder dislocation

Posterior shoulder dislocation

Causes

  • sports injuries
  • accidents
  • falling on an outstretched arm
  • a blow to the shoulder
  • seizures and electric shock

Symptoms

  • Trouble moving your arm
  • Instability of the shoulder and the back
  • Severe shoulder pain
  • Swelling and bruising of your shoulder or upper arm
  • Numbness and/or weakness in your arm, neck, hand, or fingers
  • Your arm seems to be out of place
  • Muscle spasms in your shoulder

Diagnosis

An experienced orthopedic doctor can tell my just physical examination if a shoulder is dislocated or not. Additionally, to confirm, the doctor may ask some general questions like:

 

  • How did you injure your shoulder?
  • How long has been the pain in the shoulder there?
  • Did you ever experience such pain in the shoulder before?
  • What are the first symptoms that you experienced?
  • Did you fall from height? Did you meet with any accident?

 

Once the doctor gets clear answers to these queries and understands the cause of your symptoms, the doctor can chart your treatment course better.

Patient talking to a doctor

Grades

Involves spraining of the joint with no damage to the ligaments connecting the shoulder blade and the collar bone

Patient having shoulder Pain due to a dislocated shoulder

Risks & Complications

A shoulder dislocation mostly occurs while doing activities that involve forceful throwing, heavy lifting, or falling onto the widely opened arm or onto the shoulder. Irrespective of the reason, a dislocated shoulder can cause excruciating pain and lead to restricted joint motion. 

 

If you experience painful symptoms at or around your shoulder joint, you should consult an orthopedic surgeon the earliest who can render the necessary treatment to fix the condition. Failure to get timely treatment can result in extensive damage to the shoulder. 

Leaving shoulder dislocation untreated may result in:

 

  • Nerve and vessel damage – An untreated dislocated shoulder can cause damage to the axillary artery and is more common in people older than 60 years of age. 
  • Interference with regular day-to-day activities – If the shoulder dislocation is not promptly treated, it can cause muscle weakness, pain, and muscle spasms, and probably hurt the shoulder more with every passing day.
  • Tendinitis – An inflammation or irritation of a tendon.
  • Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursa (a small fluid-filled sac that helps in friction between bones and aids free movement of the bursa)
  • Pain in neck and upper back – An untreated dislocated shoulder joint can cause pain in associated nerves of the neck and upper back.
  • Multidirectional instability – Leaving a dislocated shoulder untreated can cause instability in moving the arms in different directions.

When to consult a doctor ?

Questions to ask your doctor .

How severe is my shoulder dislocation?
What is the best line of treatment to fix my dislocated shoulder?
Is surgery important for shoulder dislocation?
Can my shoulder get dislocated even after bankart surgery?
Are there any other techniques to fix my damaged shoulder?
What is the recovery period after bankart surgery?
How soon after bankart surgery can I get back to normal work routine?
Will the condition get worse if I don't undergo surgery?
Will I experience pain in my shoulder after surgery?
What kind of medical evaluations and tests will I have to take before the surgery?

Treatment options & cost

There are different surgical options for shoulder dislocation repair. The orthopedic doctor generally suggests the best surgical treatment depending on the severity and location of the injury within the shoulder.

  1. Bankart Repair Surgery – A bankart repair is a surgical technique to repair recurrent shoulder joint dislocations. During the procedure, the worn-out ligaments are re-attached to the proper place in the shoulder joint, using the objective of rebuilding normal function.

 

  1. Capsular Shift Surgery – As the name suggests, this is a surgical procedure to tighten the joint capsule. The arthroscopic doctor in this technique uses an arthroscope to tighten the capsule and the ligaments in order to stabilize the shoulder.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery – Total shoulder replacement surgery is also known as shoulder arthroplasty. The procedure removes the damaged parts of the shoulder joint and replaces them with artificial implants.

Insurance coverage

Yes. Most of the insurance providers in India cover orthopedic surgeries including bankart repair for shoulder dislocation. Several health insurance plans in India cover the cost of hospitalization, charges of the operation theatre, doctor’s consultation fee, the cost of the anesthesia, as well the cost of surgical implants. Additionally, there are insurance providers who provide the treatment coverage even if the surgery is done as a daycare procedure. All you need to do s check the terms and conditions, the term insured for the surgery, and the waiting period of the insurance policy.  The exact details of insurance coverage depend upon the insurance policy of the individual. We accept most major health insurance plans including Star Health Insurance, New India Health Insurance, Bajaj Allianz, Religare, ICICI Lombard, etc, and also provide a No Cost EMI option to patients who need assistance with finances for a shoulder dislocation surgery.

Myths & Facts

Myth 1: A dislocated shoulder and a separated shoulder are the same things.

Fact: No, they are not. Although the two sound very similar to each other, they are two very different conditions. A shoulder dislocation is a condition in which the shoulder joint pops out of the socket. The condition can cause damage to the surrounding nerves and tissues. On the other hand, a separated shoulder does not hurt the shoulder joint but the shoulder blade and the collarbone.

 

Myth 2: A shoulder that has been dislocated once shall not be dislocated again.

Fact: If medical reports are to be believed, 50 percent of people with a dislocated shoulder suffer a recurrence of the condition. Over 90 percent of people have a recurrence of shoulder dislocation that occurs twice. Males aged 14 to 20 suffer from recurrence of shoulder dislocation in most of the cases. If a shoulder has been dislocated twice, it is crucial to undergo surgery in order to repair the damaged nerves and tissue.

Myth 3: Shoulder dislocation is common among people of all age groups.

Fact: In reality, only 1-3 percent suffer from shoulder dislocation in their entire lifetime. In most cases, the condition occurs in men aged 25-35 years. Elderly women, people involved in contact sports are prone to dislocating their shoulders, most often after falling. A shoulder dislocation should not be taken casually. The condition should be promptly treated by an experienced orthopedic specialist.

Video testimonial - by patient

Video on the disease and treatment - by Pristyn Care doctor

Latest Research

  • A young and active individual, preferably under the age of 30 is more likely to suffer a shoulder dislocation.

  • Arthroscopic Bankart Surgery: managing acute pain post shoulder dislocation surgery.

FAQ

What causes bankart lesions?

Bankart lesions are commonly caused due to trauma and sports injuries. It is very common for athletes to get a dislocated shoulder in their twenties. When a shoulder dislocates repeatedly, it can lead to a tear in the nearby labrum, called a bankart tear. Some possible causes for repeated dislocation of the shoulder joint and bankart lesions are:

 

  • Car accidents
  • Sports collisions/ contact sports
  • Landing awkwardly on the shoulder joint
  • Falling down a ladder or stairs
  • Overuse of the joint via repetitive motions
  • Loose ligaments
What are “anchors” in bankart repair surgery?

Anchor sutures are spiral screws that are usually used for fixing tendons and ligaments to the bone. Depending on the patient’s need and the surgeon’s preference, they can be made of plastic, metal or a bio-dissolvable material.

When can a person return to sports after bankart repair surgery?

After bankart surgery, a person can start playing sports again within 6-12 weeks after the surgery. However, it is advised to avoid lifting heavy objects and contact sports for at least 3 months to avoid the recurrence of the injury.

For how long should a person wear the sling after bankart repair surgery?

After the surgery, a person may have to wear a sling for the first 4-6 weeks after the surgery. Since the treatment is done via arthroscopic repair, the recovery is quick, the person can return to day-to-day activities within a few days.

What is the success rate of arthroscopic bankart surgery?

Arthroscopic bankart surgeries repair have a 90-95% success rate, and people can resume daily activities, including sports, in 2-3 months. In general, a person can begin weight training 3 months after the surgery. However, complete internal recovery may take about 4-6 months

What are some non-surgical ways to heal a dislocated shoulder?

Non-surgical ways to heal a dislocated shoulder may include home remedies and lifestyle modifications.

  • Rest your shoulder
  • Apply an ice pack to the shoulder joint
  • Tain pain-relieving medicines
  • Maintain proper range of motion of the shoulder
Does a dislocated shoulder ever get back to normal?

With timely and prompt treatment, most people regain stability of the shoulder within a few weeks’ time. But once a shoulder is dislocated, the joint becomes weak and unstable and highly prone to dislocations in the future.

How to sleep with a dislocated shoulder?

The best way to sleep is by not exerting too much pressure on the shoulder. Refrain from sleeping on a hard surface or mattress. Place a pillow on the back of ​​your sore shoulder or elbow. This sleeping position is meant to relieve the affected shoulder temporarily. Try sleeping on the side of the shoulder that is fine and ot dislocated. Sleeping on the other side, you allow the “injured” shoulder to recover from minor injuries to the muscles and tendons.

What are the long-term effects of a dislocated shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder, in the long run, can cause persistent discomfort and result in a limited range of motion. Many individuals with shoulder dislocation have to bear the shoulder pain and stiffness for long years.

What should you not do after a shoulder dislocation?

You should not try moving your shoulder. That’s the first and the most important thing you need to keep in mind. Try keeping your arms close to the body. Do not extend or stretch your arm. Do not move your wrist until the doctor advises so.

What is the difference between a SLAP tear and a bankart lesion?

A SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior) tear, involves the attachment site of the tendons that are located at the top of the shoulder joint. On the other hand, a bankart tear involves a torn labrum where the humeral head shifts towards the front of the body.

Can a bankart lesion heal without surgery?

At times, yes. Bankart lesions can be treated with conventional non-surgical methods and physical therapy if the damage is not too severe. But, if the damage and tear is severe, surgery might be required to attach the labrum to the socket of the shoulder.

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Why undergo bankart repair surgery for shoulder dislocation at Pristyn Care?

Pristyn Care is associated with the best ortho surgeons in India who have extensive years of experience in performing advanced bankart repair surgery. Some healthcare services and medical facilities provided at Pristyn Care are:

  • Expert orthopedic doctors and surgeons – Pristyn Care is associated with the best orthopedic surgeons in India who have plenty of experience in treating bankart tears without any complications. Most of the orthopedic surgeons working with Pristyn Care have more than 10 years of surgical experience.
  • Free cab and meal service – We ensure the patient’s entire treatment journey is seamless. On the day of the surgery, the patient is provided free cab services and meal services in the hospital. We extend the same facility to the patient’s attendant too.
  • Free follow-up consultation – Treatment at Pristyn Care does not end with just the surgery procedure. To ensure you are in the best of your health, we include post-operative care and follow-up appointments in our surgical package because we understand that the treatment is complete till you have fully recovered
  • Multiple payment options – In case you are not able to afford the surgery, we also provide financing help in the form of zero-cost EMI, cashless payment, etc., so that you can get your treatment in time.
  • Dedicated care coordinator – We avail a dedicated care coordinator to all patients who helps them with documentation for hospital admission, insurance claim, etc., to make the treatment journey hassle-free.
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