Continuing Education Activity
Shoulder dislocations represent 50 percent of all major joint dislocations, with anterior dislocation being most common. The shoulder is an unstable joint due to a shallow glenoid that only articulates with a small part of the humeral head. The shoulder joint is the most regularly dislocated joint in the body. The shoulder can dislocate forward, backward, or downward, and completely or partially, though most occur anteriorly. Fibrous tissue that joins the bones can be stretched or torn, complicating a dislocation. It takes a strong force, such as a blow to the shoulder to pull the bones out of place. Extreme rotation can pop the shoulder out of its socket. Contact sports injuries often cause a dislocated shoulder. Trauma from motor vehicle accidents and falls are also a common source of dislocation. This activity describes the pathophysiology, evaluation, and management of shoulder dislocations and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in the care of affected patients.
- Describe the etiology of shoulder dislocations.
- Describe the presentation of a patient with a shoulder dislocation.
- Explain the treatment and management options available for shoulder dislocation.
- Explain why careful planning and discussion amongst interprofessional team members involved in the management of patients with shoulder dislocation will improve outcomes.