What to Do About a Dislocated Shoulder

Even a minor fender bender can be distressing. You experience a lot of emotions after a car accident, but it’s important to have a complete checkup to assess your body for any pain or injuries. Shoulder injuries are incredibly common following car accidents, and you need to know what to do if you sustain an injury, such as a dislocated shoulder.

Our team of physicians, nurses, and administrative support at the Tulsa Accident Care Center are here for you when you need care following an auto accident. If you suspect that you’ve dislocated your shoulder, the first step is to have a thorough examination to ensure the appropriate diagnosis. 

Here’s what you should know if you sustain a dislocated shoulder in an auto accident

Confirm it’s a dislocated shoulder and not something else

It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that you’ve dislocated your shoulder if you experience shoulder pain and are unable to move your arm. Your hunch may indeed be correct. A dislocated shoulder is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car crash. It means that the ball of your humerus (upper arm bone) has come partially or totally out of the socket.

A dislocated shoulder can cause swelling, numbness, weakness, and intense pain, especially when you try to move your arm. The affected shoulder may also appear deformed compared to the unaffected shoulder.

Even if you’re confident you’ve sustained a dislocated shoulder, it’s crucial to visit a doctor for a formal diagnosis. It’s possible to have a different type of shoulder injury, such as a separated shoulder, instead of a dislocation. 

A shoulder separation occurs when the ligaments between your shoulder and collarbone are torn. Like shoulder dislocation, a separated shoulder is a common injury sustained in car accidents. Other common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff tears and shoulder fractures. 

Seek prompt medical help

Our auto accident specialist, Robert Mitchell, MD, has extensive experience evaluating and diagnosing injuries sustained in vehicle crashes. We utilize the latest diagnostic tools and industry-best techniques to correctly diagnose your injury.

Have your injured shoulder evaluated as soon as possible, and avoid attempting to reset it yourself. In the meantime, it’s best to immobilize your shoulder and let a medical professional diagnose your injury. We make sure you receive prompt, effective treatment so that you heal as safely and thoroughly as possible. 

Diagnosing shoulder dislocation

You’re in good hands at the Tulsa Accident Care Center. We have state-of-the-art on-site scanning technologies to diagnose your shoulder injury quickly. If your shoulder is indeed dislocated, you’ll need to have your shoulder reset. Expect to have your shoulder immobilized for two to six weeks after having it reset.

Recovery from a shoulder dislocation often involves physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder joint and restore function. Our team is here for you every step of the way. Dr. Mitchell creates a comprehensive treatment plan to address your injury so that you recover and return to your normal activities. 

Visit us for high-quality care

Rest assured, our Tulsa Accident Care Center team is experienced in all types of shoulder injuries. If you have any sort of shoulder pain after a car accident, it’s best to seek care from a team experienced in diagnosing and treating crash-related shoulder injuries.

Schedule a visit with us to get the care and guidance you need. Call our office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or book your appointment online today.

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