Shoulder Dislocations After a Car Accident: Diagnosis and Treatment Options
When you’re involved in a car accident, your body twists, moves, and slams into objects at great force. The force can cause a variety of injuries, including dislocated shoulders.
A shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone is forced out of the socket. Because the shoulder joint is the most mobile of all the joints, it is prone to dislocation in automobile accidents.
Learn the symptoms of a dislocated shoulder and go over the possible treatments you can receive from an orthopedic doctor near you.
Shoulder Dislocation Symptoms
It’s normal to experience shoulder pain after an automobile accident. However, you aren’t sure if you’ve dislocated your shoulder or if you have another injury. Go over the symptoms to better understand your injury.
A dislocated shoulder is quite painful, with the pain often radiating down the arm. Along with pain, you will likely notice deep bruising, large knots, tenderness, and sensitivity.
Also, your shoulder and arm will feel weak, and it will be difficult to lift your arm. If you have these symptoms, you’ve likely dislocated your shoulder and need medical attention.
How to Diagnose Shoulder Dislocations
Your orthopedic doctor will need to diagnose your shoulder injury before providing treatment. The diagnosis begins with a comprehensive physical exam. Your doctor will look at the location and severity of the bruises and check your shoulder’s flexibility and mobility.
Often, a physical examination is all that’s needed to diagnose a dislocated shoulder. However, in some cases, the orthopedist also needs to order an X-ray to see if the shoulder has been dislocated.
Also, the doctor might order an MRI to check for additional damage to the surrounding tissue. After reviewing the scans, your doctor will create a treatment plan.
Treating a Dislocated Shoulder
If you do have a dislocated shoulder, your orthopedic doctor will create a treatment plan for you. First, your doctor will put the shoulder back in place with what’s called a closed reduction.
Once your bone is back into the joint, your pain will disappear. However, the treatment doesn’t end with putting the bone back into the joint.
You will need to ice your shoulder 3-4 times a day to reduce swelling, and your doctor will provide you with a sling to immobilize the joint. You will wear the sling for several weeks and then begin rehabilitation.
Your physical therapist will help you restore the range of motion and strength in the shoulder joint while building up the surrounding tissue, so you’re less likely to reinjure it in the future.
Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
Dislocated shoulders don’t heal on their own. You need medical treatment to put the shoulder back in place and restore the function.
The longer you wait to get treatment, the longer you’ll suffer from the pain of the dislocated joint.
Call (718) 769-2521 to schedule an appointment with a top Brooklyn orthopedic doctor today, so you can experience fast relief. Your doctor will provide you with a treatment plan that won’t just alleviate the pain but will restore your shoulder’s function. We accept most insurance plans, including no-fault insurance.