Dislocated Shoulder Specialist

Andrew Kersten, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgery

Andrew Kersten, MD

Orthopedic Surgery located in Asheville, NC

The shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body, making them particularly prone to dislocations. Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Andrew Kersten, MD, provides surgical and nonsurgical treatments for dislocated shoulders at his private practice in Asheville, North Carolina. If you have a dislocated shoulder, book an appointment at Dr. Kersten’s office online or by phone today.

Dislocated Shoulder Q & A

What is a dislocated shoulder?

In a healthy shoulder joint, the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) rests in a shallow socket called the glenoid. A shoulder dislocation happens when your humeral head slips out of place. This causes pain and instability in your shoulder.

What causes a dislocated shoulder?

Your shoulder can dislocate in various directions, including forward, backward, or downward. Dislocations can be partial or complete.

Shoulder dislocations result from a strong force that knocks your bones out of place. This can occur during many activities, including:

  • Contact sports, like football and hockey
  • Sports that involve falls, like skiing and gymnastics
  • Trauma from a motor vehicle accident
  • Falls during other activities, like tripping on loose carpet

Athletes and physically active people are at greater risk for shoulder dislocations.  

What are the symptoms of a dislocated shoulder?

All types of shoulder dislocations cause intense pain and an inability to use the injured arm. You may notice a visible deformity, including swelling and bruising around the shoulder joint. If the shoulder dislocation damages nerves, you might also experience numbness or tingling.

What should I do if I have a dislocated shoulder?

If you dislocated your shoulder, you should call the office of Andrew Kersten, MD, to schedule an appointment right away. Don’t move your shoulder or try to force it back into its proper position. This can damage the surrounding muscles, nerves, or blood vessels.

While you’re waiting for treatment, you can splint or sling your shoulder in its current position and apply ice to reduce pain and swelling.

How are dislocated shoulders diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Kersten diagnoses your shoulder dislocation with a physical exam and review of your symptoms and medical history. He may also take an X-ray to look for other damage, like a broken bone.

To treat your dislocated shoulder, Dr. Kersten carefully places your humerus back into its socket. This process is called closed reduction and it ends your severe pain almost immediately.

You may need to wear a sling or brace for several days after treatment. When the pain and swelling subside, Dr. Kersten may recommend physical therapy exercises to prevent future dislocations. Past shoulder dislocations increase your risk of this injury happening again.

Recurrent shoulder dislocations may require surgery to repair or tighten stretched ligaments.

If you have a dislocated shoulder, don’t hesitate to call the office of Andrew Kersten, MD, or book an appointment online today.