Shoulder Dislocation Care

Our team of orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute offers the most specialized expertise in shoulder care of any orthopedic center in the region. Our shoulder specialists are fellowship-trained in shoulder surgery and are dedicated entirely to treating shoulder conditions.

Your orthopedic surgeon will spend time with you to determine the cause of your shoulder dislocation or shoulder instability and make sure you fully understand your condition and treatment options. We specialize in the most advanced procedures to help you regain strength and range of motion after experiencing a shoulder dislocation. Our goal is to heal your injury and return you to your normal level of activity, free of pain.

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain can result from a wide range of possible causes, including shoulder fractures. When your shoulder pain is accompanied by a “loose” feeling and lack of range of motion, it may be due to dislocation or instability.

Shoulder Dislocation

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the top of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder joint socket. Because the shoulder joint is so mobile, it can be very easy to dislocate the bone from the socket. The top of the upper arm bone (humerus) can partially or completely come out of the socket (glenoid).

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability develops when your muscles and ligaments are not strong enough to hold the shoulder bones securely in the socket. This can lead to multiple painful shoulder dislocations or prevent you from using the shoulder or lifting your arm.

What causes shoulder dislocation or shoulder instability?

Shoulder dislocations can occur as a result of any of the following events:

  • Fall from a height
  • Car accident
  • Strong contact during sports

 

Shoulder instability can develop as a result of:

  • Previous shoulder dislocations: The more often you experience shoulder dislocations, the less stable your shoulder becomes.
  • Loose ligaments: Ligaments are the tissues that bind bones together. Shoulder ligaments can either be naturally loose or become loose over time, especially if you repeatedly bring your arm up over your head, as in swimming or tennis.

What are the symptoms of shoulder dislocation or shoulder instability?

People with a dislocated shoulder may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Bruising
  • Instability
  • Muscle spasms

 

Someone with shoulder instability may experience numerous shoulder dislocations, along with any of the following symptoms:

  • “Loose” feeling in the shoulder
  • Shoulder pain
  • Trouble lifting your arm

How is shoulder dislocation or instability diagnosed?

The orthopedists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating shoulder pain, dislocation, and instability. Our initial exam will generally include:

  • Medical history evaluation – This includes asking questions about previous shoulder injuries and dislocations. It can also include questions about whether you have other medical problems, and if you take any medications.
  • Physical exam – Your orthopedist will examine your shoulder and arm to evaluate your pain and sensitivity, strength, range of motion.
  • Imaging tests – Your doctor may want to examine the bones and joints themselves using a variety of imaging techniques, including:
    • X-ray, which can help determine if you have any broken bones
    • MRI, which uses powerful magnets and computer technology to create a picture of your muscles, tissues, and nerves to show if you have any tissue damage

What are the best dislocation and shoulder pain treatment options?

Most cases of shoulder instability or dislocation respond well to conservative treatment involving the following:

  • Rest
  • Intensive physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medication
  • Avoiding activities that previously resulted in shoulder dislocations

 

In cases where non-surgical methods are unsuccessful, surgical options are available to help regain shoulder function, including:

 

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating shoulder injuries and are pleased to offer comprehensive shoulder care in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our Specialists

Shoulder & Elbow


MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – McLean

Sports Medicine

Evan H. Argintar, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
William Postma, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – McLean

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Mitchellville
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Melissa Ann Yadao, MD
Sports Medicine
PhonePhone: 866-767-1682

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge

General Orthopedics

John P. Byrne, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Dennis A. Carlini, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
Shaun Kumar Khosla, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Bruce Robert Knolmayer, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Kevin McMahon, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Edward C. Rabbitt, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Jeffrey D. Sabloff, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf

Locations

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: 202-444-8766
18109 Prince Philip Drive, Suite 325 Olney, MD, 20832
Phone: 301-774-8958
25500 Point Lookout Road, Suite 250 Leonardtown, MD, 20650
Phone: 240-434-7483
106 Irving Street Northwest, Washington, DC, 20010
Phone: 202-877-6000
1120 20th Street Northwest, Building 1 South Washington, DC, 20036
Phone: 202-416-2000
13950 Brandywine Road, 2nd Floor Brandywine, MD, 20613
Phone: 301-856-1682
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, 11th Floor Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
Phone: 301-215-9423
6355 Walker Lane, Suite 501 Alexandria, VA, 22310
Phone: 703-971-3701
12825 Minnieville Road, Suite 203 Woodbridge, VA, 22192
Phone: 703-971-3701
9455 Lorton Market Street, Suite 200 Lorton, VA, 22079
Phone: 703-971-3701
6858 Old Dominion Drive, Suite 200 Mc Lean, VA, 22101
Phone: 202-444-8766
11325 Pembrooke Square, Suite 115 Waldorf, MD, 20603
Phone: 301-856-1682