Testing & Diagnosis for Shoulder instability (dislocated shoulder) in Children

How is a dislocated shoulder diagnosed?

Most cases of shoulder dislocation become apparent—and are diagnosed—when a child injures the shoulder and has pain, difficulty with movement and/or a deformity of the shoulder.

Your child’s doctor first takes a thorough medical and family history and conducts a careful physical exam that involves manipulations. 

To confirm a diagnosis of your child’s dislocated shoulder, the doctor may order X-rays. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT scans (computed tomography) may also be used, especially if other injury to the area is suspected.