Conditions + Treatments

Dislocated Shoulder in Children

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Overview

A shoulder dislocation happens when too much force or pressure is applied to the ligaments connecting the arm to the shoulder, and the bones are separated. Imagine the shoulder and the top of the arm as a socket and ball—if too much force is applied, the ball can pop out of the socket causing a dislocation.

  • Although your child's shoulder may move temporarily move back in place, you should always have a physician diagnose and treat any dislocation.
  • Symptoms of a dislocation may include pain, swelling, deformity, warmth, bruising or redness in the injured area, and difficulty using the injured area in a normal manner.
  • Your child's physician will typically treat a dislocated shoulder with a splint or cast, pain medication and traction, with surgery only for the most severe cases.
  • Provided your child follows any activity restrictions and stretching and strengthening rehabilitation programs prescribed by his or her doctor, re-injury should be avoidable.
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