A dislocated shoulder occurs when the humerus separates from the scapula at the glenohumeral joint.
Shoulder instability means that the shoulder joint is too loose and is able to slide around too much in the socket. In some cases, the unstable shoulder actually slips out of the socket. If the shoulder slips completely out of the socket, it has become dislocated. If not treated, instability can lead to arthritis of the shoulder joint.
Diagnosis includes physical examination where there is a significant pain, which can sometimes be felt past the shoulder, along the arm. The person is unable to move the arm from its current position, there is associated numbness of the arm and a visibly displaced shoulder.
A common cause is due to injury to the shoulder during a fall or a sports related injury. Other causes may include very lax or hyper mobile joints.
A surgical procedure of closed reduction is usually done to return the shoulder to its normal position.
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