Dislocated shoulder - aftercare (2024)

Shoulder dislocation - aftercare; Shoulder subluxation - aftercare; Shoulder reduction - aftercare; Glenohumeral joint dislocation

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Dislocated shoulder - aftercare (2024)


What should you not do after shoulder dislocation? ›

Don't repeat the specific action that caused the shoulder to dislocate. Try to avoid painful movements. Limit heavy lifting or overhead activity until the shoulder feels better.

What is the fastest way to heal a dislocated shoulder? ›

Immobilization and Icing

Resting the shoulder and applying an ice pack reduces inflammation and eases pain. Doctors recommend using a sling or brace to immobilize the affected arm and shoulder for four to six weeks to allow the muscles and other soft tissues to rest and heal.

How long does it take to recover from a dislocated shoulder? ›

You can stop wearing the sling after a few days, but it takes about 12 to 16 weeks to completely recover from a dislocated shoulder. You'll usually be able to resume most activities within two weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting and sports involving shoulder movements for between six weeks and three months.

How long should I sleep in a sling after shoulder dislocation? ›

Once your shoulder is back in joint you will be given a sling to support your arm; this will be used for 2 to 6 weeks whilst the injury heals. You need to keep the sling on for the first week, including at night, but you can remove it daily for personal hygiene and dressing.

Will my shoulder ever be the same after dislocation? ›

Most people make a full recovery after dislocating their shoulder. Even if you need surgery, you should be able to return to most or all your activities and sports after your shoulder has healed. You're much more likely to re-injure a shoulder you've dislocated before.

What should you never do in a dislocation injury? ›

Don't move the joint.

Until you get help, use a splint to keep the affected joint from moving. Don't try to move a dislocated joint or force it back into place. This can damage the joint and the muscles, ligaments, nerves or blood vessels around it.

What makes a dislocated shoulder worse? ›

The ligaments — tissue that joins the bones — of the shoulder can be stretched or torn, often making the dislocation worse.

Why is a dislocated shoulder so painful? ›

You have likely injured (stretched or torn) some of the muscles, tendons (tissues that connect muscle to bone), or ligaments (tissues that connect bone to bone) of the shoulder joint. All of these tissues help keep your arm in place. Having a dislocated shoulder is very painful.

What are the after effects of a dislocated shoulder? ›

If a partial or complete dislocation occurs, you may experience sharp, severe pain, swelling, bruising, and an inability to move the shoulder. Seek help immediately for a dislocated shoulder. Dislocation can cause several significant complications, including broken bones and chronic shoulder instability.

How long after shoulder dislocation can I drive? ›

Driving can resume once the affected arm is no longer in a sling and the shoulder muscles have recovered and there is no pain when moving the arm. For most people this would mean at least a week before they can try to drive after a simple dislocation.

How to sleep with a dislocated shoulder? ›

The most difficult thing to have to deal with after a shoulder dislocation is sleep. If you lay down, it's going to hurt. If you have a recliner, plan on sleeping on it for the first few days. If that's not an option for you, place several pillows strategically on your bed to provide your shoulder with support.

What movements should be avoided after shoulder dislocation? ›

Avoid shoulder external rotation at or above 90 degrees of abduction. Avoid shoulder extension past neutral. Avoid traction force of glenohumeral joint. General healing timeline expected is 6+ weeks.

What are the side effects of wearing a sling? ›

When slings are worn improperly, they place the shoulder in an unnatural position and force it to carry the load of the arm. This can have many negative effects on your recovery, including increased pain, difficulty regaining range of motion, and adding strain on the repair that was done on your shoulder.

Can you wear a sling too long? ›

But a sling can create problems. Keeping your arm in one position for too long can cause serious problems, such as frozen shoulder.

What movements should be avoided with a dislocated shoulder? ›

Avoid shoulder external rotation at or above 90 degrees of abduction. Avoid shoulder extension past neutral. Avoid traction force of glenohumeral joint. General healing timeline expected is 6+ weeks.

What happens if you wait too long to fix a dislocated shoulder? ›

If you suspect you have dislocated your shoulder, it's important to seek emergency medical attention within 24 hours, because waiting too long can make it more difficult to pop the joint back in place.

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