Question :

.-Teenager with repeated shoulder subluxations

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hi, i am a 14 year old female. For the past 3 years, I have been suffering with a bad right shoulder. It dislocates itself partially and sometimes fully. I don't need to do anything for this to happen, it dislocates when I have my arms by my side, when my arms are crossed and just about any position. When it dislocates, it moves about an inch backwards. It causes me lots of pain. 2 years ago, I saw an orthepedic doctor, he did some x-rays, then he told me that it sublaxes. He said it would improve within a year as I grow, but it has gotten worse. Is there any treatment for this? Me and my parents are willing to do anything. Thankyou, Sarah (14)


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
 you probably had a Subluxation of the shoulder, the head of the humerus did not go completely out of the joint socket and went back in. I would advise you to be careful with your shoulder in the future, because repeated subluxations or luxations of the shoulder deteriorate the capsule and ligaments of the joint , causing chronic pain and instability that may be end up in having an operation to correct recurrent shoulder dislocations. Actually, there are many studies that have shown the increased likelihood of traumatic shoulder  arthritis in patients with multiple shoulder dislocations. The operation may consist of both open or arthroscopic treatment of the cause of instability, and of course a Rehabilitation program after surgery to control pain, limitation and regain full function. So, for now try to avoid movements and activities that can potentially cause dislocation of your shoulder and work out to strengthen the muscles of your shoulders.


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