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Shoulder Dislocation Specialist

Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C.

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Englewood, CO & Aurora, CO

If you or a loved one experiences a shoulder dislocation, don’t wait to seek treatment. The sooner you receive care, the sooner you can begin healing and return to your normal routine. At Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., John Schwappach, MD, boasts years of experience treating shoulder dislocations. To make an appointment at the practice in Englewood or Aurora, Colorado, call the nearest office to speak with a team member or book online today.

Shoulder Dislocation Q & A

What are the symptoms of a shoulder dislocation?

Shoulder dislocation occurs when your arm bone pops out of the socket in your shoulder blade. It’s characterized by a visible lump or bulge that’s swollen and sensitive to the touch. 

Common symptoms of shoulder dislocation include:

  • A visibly deformed or out-of-place shoulder
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Intense pain
  • Inability to move the affected joint

Depending on the cause of the dislocation, you might also experience sensations of tingling or numbness that extend into your arms or neck.

What causes shoulder dislocation?

Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body, which also makes it susceptible to injury, including dislocation. Common causes of shoulder dislocation include sports injuries, work injuries, car accidents, and falls. 

Anyone can experience shoulder dislocation, but this type of injury is especially common in teenagers and young adults who are physically active. 

How can I prevent shoulder dislocation?

There’s no way to prevent shoulder dislocation entirely, but there are things you can do to lower your risk. Dr. Schwappach recommends wearing the proper safety equipment when playing sports, exercising regularly to keep your shoulder muscles strong, and taking care to avoid falls. 

How is a shoulder dislocation diagnosed?

At Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., Dr. Schwappach diagnose shoulder dislocation by conducting an exam and asking about your injury, including when and where it occurred, the severity of your symptoms, and whether any activities seem to make them worse. 

Usually, visual observation is enough to make a diagnosis, but your provider might also recommend X-rays or an MRI to evaluate the bones and soft tissues in your shoulder joint.

How is a shoulder dislocation treated?

Treatment for shoulder dislocation depends on the severity of your injury. Dr. Schwappach might recommend:

Closed reduction

Closed reduction is an in-office procedure that carefully returns your shoulder joint to the proper position. If your swelling or pain is severe, your provider might inject a muscle relaxant beforehand to ensure your comfort. 


Following closed reduction, your provider might recommend immobilization. During immobilization, you wear a sling for several days or weeks. The sling prevents your shoulder from moving, allowing the swelling to reduce and your joint to heal.


Once you’re finished wearing a sling, you begin a rehabilitation program that includes at-home exercises and physical therapy. These exercises restore your range of motion and restore strength and stability to your shoulder joint.

If you have a weak shoulder joint or you experience multiple dislocations, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Schwappach specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures that allow for speedy recovery times and a lower risk of complications.

To receive treatment for shoulder dislocation, make an appointment at Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C. by calling the nearest office to speak with a team member or using the online booking tool.