Shoulder Dislocation

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K. Mathew Warnock, MD

Shoulder Dislocation in Houston

If you or someone you know is suffering from a shoulder dislocation, Houston orthopedic surgeon K. Mathew Warnock, MD is a fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon with the experience you need. Dr. Warnock encourages anyone who has been injured to contact his office as soon as possible to ensure they get the proper treatment. Continue reading to learn about symptoms and treatment options.

What is a shoulder dislocation?

A partial dislocation, or subluxation, occurs when the humerus, or upper arm bone, is partially out of the joint socket. Complete dislocations are completely out of the socket. The humerus can dislocate forward, backward, down, or up. The most common dislocation, an anterior dislocation, happens when the shoulder slips forward out of socket. Shoulder dislocations are painful and limit use of the shoulder. Repeat dislocations can be difficult to treat; inform your doctor if you have dislocated your shoulder before.

What are symptoms to look for?

Symptoms include swelling, weakness, numbness, and bruising. When accompanied by severe pain, this could signal tears in ligaments, tendons, muscles, or nerves. It is important that you visit a shoulder surgeon immediately to determine the best course of treatment.

How is a dislocation diagnosed?

Dr. Warnock will begin by reviewing your medical history. Be sure to let him know if you have ever dislocated this shoulder before. Once he has familiarized himself with your case, Dr. Warnock will examine your shoulder motion and strength. The shape of the shoulder is also important in diagnosing a dislocation. For example, the shoulder looks more squared off when the humerus is out of the socket. To confirm the diagnosis, Dr. Warnock will obtain an X-ray. For severe shoulder injuries he may request additional tests such as an MRI and a nerve evaluation.

What are my treatment options?

Typically, a closed reduction is required to treat the dislocation. Using this technique, the doctor will insert the ball of the humerus back into the joint socket. Most patients feel immediate relief from the pain. You may be required to wear a sling or other device to immobilize the shoulder for several days after the treatment. Dr. Warnock will prescribe rehabilitative exercises that you can do at home. In cases where there is repeated dislocation, surgery may be required to repair torn soft tissue.

The shoulder joint can turn in many directions and is the most mobile joint in the body! Should you need immediate assistance with a shoulder injury please contact our offices or go to the emergency room right away. We can schedule a follow up consultation to ensure a speedy recovery. Contact Dr. Warnock for more information about a shoulder dislocation. Houston residents can schedule an appointment by calling 281-807-4380.
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