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Traumatic Shoulder Dislocation Hand Therapy

“Working with a knowledgeable hand therapist can make the difference between success and failure in complex hand surgical cases. The therapist extends the continuum of our care, as well as functioning as coach and trainer for our patients.”

Marybeth Ezaki, MD, Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand

In Phoenix Rehab, our senior hand therapists are experienced licensed and dedicated therapists (physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists) who specialized ONLY in the rehabilitation, treatment and management of painful fingers, hands, wrists, forearm & elbow conditions, because of interest, passion and expertise.

A traumatic shoulder dislocation can happen during a specific injury or accident when the upper arm (humerus) is forced out of the shoulder joint.

This may cause damage to the

  • shoulder ligaments
  • muscles and
  • tendons

that surround the shoulder joint and a portion of the ball (humerus) and socket (glenoid) bones. A fracture to the ball or socket may occur with the injury as well.

Shoulder dislocation types

What causes a traumatic dislocation?

Shoulder dislocations can occur from

  • repetitive trauma (repetitive strain injury)
  • an injury such as a motor-vehicle injury or sports injury
  • or accident such as falls

Dislocations occur when the shoulder joint is forced out of place from falls or sports injuries.

Falling down on outstretched hand in play or accidentally can cause traumatic shoulder dislocations

What are the symptoms of a traumatic shoulder dislocation?

A shoulder dislocation may cause extreme

  • sharp pain
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • weakness and
  • difficulty moving the arm

The shoulder may also feel and visibly appear to be out of place.

What is the treatment of a shoulder dislocation?

To confirm the severity of the dislocation, X-rays may be ordered by a healthcare professional. It will be very important to immobilize the shoulder after a shoulder dislocation.

Shoulder physiotherapy and hand therapy may also be started after a brief period of immobilization.

If dislocation occurs regularly and pain affects daily function, your doctor may then recommend that you undergo corrective shoulder surgery to stabilize the unstable shoulder joint.

Our senior hand therapist treats the hand and upper extremity, including the shoulder

What can a hand therapist do for me?

Our senior hand therapist/upper extremity specialist is important in the treatment of a traumatic shoulder dislocation.

Each traumatic shoulder dislocation is different and will require a thorough evaluation to determine the best treatment approach.

Shoulder and/or hand therapy will focus on

  • protecting the shoulder
  • decreasing pain
  • improving motion through the use of activities, exercises and work- or sports-specific tasks

We will also work closely with the physician and patient to improve shoulder function.

Patients may also receive the following hand therapy treatment modalities: