A dislocated shoulder hurts – a lot! A shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) becomes separated from the shoulder blade (scapula) at the very shallow shoulder socket (glenohumeral joint). Here is an excellent x-ray:
The construction of the shoulder joint allows it to be the most mobile joint in the body. You can do incredible things with your arms and hands because of the way our shoulders are designed.
You can throw all kinds of things. If you can grasp it and lift it, then you can throw it.
You can lift items in front, to the side and over your head.
You can pull yourself up – if you are strong enough.
The downside is that in order to be the most mobile joint, some stability is sacrificed. The ball of the upper arm bone rests in a very shallow socket called the glenoid. When this ball (of the humerus) is caused to become dislodged from the socket, then the shoulder is said to be dislocated. It can be quite painful and your range of motion will be limited.
Controversial surgery proving effective for young athletes
According to a public release put out on March 8, 2008 by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, a recent study indicates that young athletes who go through a first-time shoulder dislocation and have arthroscopic surgery to repair it are experiencing greater long term benefits than those patients who take the more conservative, non-surgical approach.
The study was performed on young military cadets who are required to be very physically active. If your child is less active, then the conservative non-surgical approach may be a better option.