Separated Shoulder

1 What is Separated Shoulder?

Separated shoulder is a clinical condition in which the ligaments holding the shoulder joint, due to a trauma loosen and lead dislocation of the shoulder joint from its original position.

In mild separated shoulder ligaments might just stretch but in severe conditions they may get completely ruptured. In most of the cases separated shoulder doesn’t require a surgery.

Conservative treatment such as rest, pain killers and ice may be applied on the affected area. After experiencing separated shoulder most of the people cure is few weeks to a month.  

2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a separated shoulder include:

  • pain in the shoulder area,
  • shoulder weakness,
  • swelling or bruising of shoulder,
  • limited shoulder movement,
  • a bump at the top of the shoulder.
Have a question aboutShoulder Injuries And Disorders?Ask a doctor now

3 Causes

The main cause of separated shoulder is an external force which can move the ball and socket joint of our shoulder.

Some of the external forces include:

  • trauma due to fall,
  • blow to the shoulder joint.

These injuries damage the ligaments which hold our collar bone and shoulder blade. 

4 Making a Diagnosis

A separated shoulder can be dignosed during physical examination by palpation. Although, some examinations are done to analyze the severity of damage that include:

CT scan is only used in severe cases to identify any damage to blood vessels of the shoulder joint.

5 Treatment

People after separated shoulder recover in a short period of time with minimal medical treatment.

More sever complications might take several weeks and need medical supervision. In normal cases doctor chooses

  • Conservative therapy- medications such as pain killers to reduce the pain, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce signs of inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy- regular exercises will help restore the damaged ligaments and will provide faster healing.
  • Rest- adequate rest must be given to the affected shoulder for better healing processes. 

6 Prevention

The person suffering from separation of shoulder can prevent certain activities to help improve the process of healing.

The activities include:

  • lifting heavy objects,
  • cleaning the roof,
  • raising hand.

Undergoing mild physiotherapy will provide positive effects. Depending on the severity of damage person suffering from dislocation time of healing process may range from few weeks to months. 

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Alternative remedies for separated shoulder may not cure the situation but may provide relief.

Applying ice on the affected area will reduce the pain by blocking the signals which are sent from the pain receptors of shoulder joint.

Massaging the affected area with mild pressure applied on the joint.

Physiotherapy to enhance strength of ligaments can be helpful.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

The person suffering from separation of shoulder can prevent certain lifestyle activities to help improve the process of healing.

The activities include:

  • lifting heavy objects,
  • cleaning the roof,
  • raising hand.

Undergoing mild physiotherapy will provide positive effects. Depending on the severity of damage person suffering from dislocation time of healing process may range from few weeks to months. 

9 Risks and Complications

There are several risks associated with separated shoulder.

A sportsman is always predisposed to separated shoulder. Participating in sports such as football, hockey and especially sports which involve falls:

  • gymnastics,
  • volleyball,
  • skiing.

Wrestling might be a potentially high risk factor. Mostly people after separated shoulder injury recover with in few weeks to a month.

Intensive treatment may be proposed in cases such as:

  • severe separation which includes displacement of collar bone,
  • if there is development of arthritis in the joint, 
  • other structures around collar bone such as rotator cuff are damaged,
  • if arteries are damaged then there will be internal bleeding.
Top