Dislocated Shoulder Specialist

Joseph B. Wilson, MD

Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon located in Raleigh, NC & Apex, NC

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, making it particularly prone to dislocations. Fellowship-trained sports medicine physician and leading shoulder specialist Joseph Wilson, MD, treats shoulder dislocations at his practice, Shoulder Expert of Raleigh, with three convenient locations in Raleigh, Apex, and Durham, North Carolina. If you have a dislocated shoulder, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.

Dislocated Shoulder Q&A

What is a dislocated shoulder?

Shoulder dislocation, also known as shoulder instability, happens when your upper arm bone (humerus) slides out of its normal position in the cup-shaped socket of your shoulder joint. You can dislocate your shoulder partially or completely. Both types of dislocations cause shoulder pain and instability.

How can I tell if I dislocated my shoulder?

You may be able to identify a dislocation if your shoulder is visibly deformed or appears out-of-place. Other common signs and symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include:

  • Intense pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Numbness and weakness

A shoulder dislocation that damages your nerves may lead to numbness or a tingling sensation in nearby areas, such as the neck or arm.

What should I do if I dislocate my shoulder?

If you think your shoulder may be dislocated, you should call Shoulder Expert of Raleigh to schedule an appointment right away. The friendly staff makes every effort to attend to your condition in a prompt manner.

In the meantime, don’t try to move your shoulder back into place on your own. Immobilize your arm in a splint or sling in its current position. Moving your shoulder may damage surrounding nerves, blood vessels, or other tissues.

You may put ice on your shoulder to reduce pain and swelling while you wait for medical attention.  

How do you treat a dislocated shoulder?

First, Dr. Wilson evaluates your shoulder and reviews your medical history. He asks you to describe your symptoms and how the dislocation occurred. He may take an X-ray to assess the damage to your shoulder joint.

Then, Dr. Wilson places your humerus back into its normal position in your shoulder socket in a process called closed reduction. This process should relieve severe pain almost immediately.

Once your shoulder is back in place, Dr. Wilson develops a personalized treatment plan for shoulder rehabilitation. This may include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Immobilization
  • Physical therapy

If your shoulder dislocation causes bone fractures or other damage, Dr. Wilson may recommend surgery to repair it.

Repeated shoulder dislocations may also require surgery. Dr. Wilson specializes in the Latarjet procedure, a technique that restores stability to a shoulder joint after repeated dislocations lead to significant bone loss.

For expert care of shoulder dislocations and other injuries, call Shoulder Expert of Raleigh or request an appointment online today.