Oh No! Shoulder Dislocation

November 23, 2008 |

I was recently sitting at home wathching the Ravens vs Houston game with my kids. Derrick Mason was upended on a play and landed awkwardly.  As they showed a close -up of Mason, I yelled at the TV, “oh no he dislocated his shoulder!” The TV then showed a replay and Mason was up in the air and landed with his arm abducted, externally rotated and elevated. This is the classic position for the arm to be dislocated – the shoulder was out from his side, palm turned up and above his shoulder. The medical team on the field probably relocated his shoulder using a technique described by Hippocrates 2400 years ago. A shoulder injury is the second most common injury in football after a knee injury.

Besides the trauma of dislocating the shoulder, there could be other complications. These complications could include: nerve damage around the shoulder joint, a rotator cuff tear (the cuff is comprised of four small muscles around the joint) and a fracture of the head or neck of the arm (the humerus).

Whether or not surgery is needed, rehabilition in physical therapy will be started. There may be some rest prescribed. The goal in physical therapy is to promote healing and to return a person quickly back to normal function, which would include work and sports activities.   A physical therapist would want to decrease inflammation, promote healing, increase strength and increase range of motion.  Physical therapy treatment may include: initial evaluation, electrical stimulation, ice, ultrasound, manual (hands on) techniques, exercise and a home exercise program.

Today, Sunday, I was at the Ravens massacre of the Eagles. It was astounding to see Derrick Mason perform on the field at a high level after such a trauma as dislocating his shoulder.  He is one tough dude!

If you have any comments or questions about sports injuries please send them here to me. But remember, this is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for proper care and treatment from your doctor or physical therapist. Also, come visit us at www.advancedcarept.com.

Ted Vlahoyiannis P.T.