Summer is a peak season for many sports, and with that comes sport-related injuries. Among those injuries is shoulder joint dislocation. According to a literature review in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most incidences of shoulder joint instability are the result of traumatic contact injuries like force or falling on an outstretched arm; a direct blow to the shoulder area; forceful throwing, lifting or hitting; or contact with another player.
By the Numbers
In young athletes, traumatic anterior (front) shoulder dislocation injuries have shown high incidences of the sudden tearing of the labrum (the tissue rim surrounding the shoulder socket) and ligaments from the bone of the socket. Symptoms of shoulder joint dislocation include: pain, often severe; instability and weakness in the shoulder area; inability to move the shoulder; swelling; bruising; abnormal contouring of the shoulder; and numbness and tingling around the shoulder or in the arm or fingers.
How to Minimize the Chances of Shoulder Dislocation
Team physicians and orthopaedic surgeons must be aware of the causes of the condition and its natural history, and should take different factors into consideration when treating an athlete with a shoulder injury that occurs.
As with all return-to-competition decisions, a team approach that includes the athlete, his or her parents/family, athletic training staff, the team physician, and coaching staff is recommended. Despite the different opinions and expertise of team members, the goal should always be in the best interest of the athlete and to achieve a stable shoulder with return of full range of motion and strength. If surgical management is preferred, successful preoperative rehabilitation also is essential to successful postoperative surgical outcomes.
Read about how Katharine Glaudemans and Marilyn Luehrmann overcame their shoulder instability injuries on www.anationinmotion.org. Glaudemans struggled with shoulder dislocations since childhood and Luehrman was traumatically injured, dislocating the head of her humerus bone from her shoulder socket, during a fall while exercising. Patient interview opportunities are available.
August 2012 Full JAAOS Table of Contents
For more information on shoulder dislocation and injury prevention:
Chronic Shoulder Instability
Shoulder Joint Tear (Glenoid Labrum Tear)
Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Conditioning Program
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