Tips For Identifying And Addressing Your Child's Dislocated Shoulder

Health & Medical Blog

If you have a particularly active child, chances are pretty good that he or she will experience an injury of some kind. One common injury that kids can suffer is a dislocated shoulder. It happens when the bone in the upper portion of the arm bone is pulled out of the shoulder socket. If you're not familiar with the injury, here are a few things you should know before you call the pediatrician.

What Can Cause It?

There are many different things that can lead to shoulder dislocation. For example, if your child plays a lot of sports, one hard collision on the field could loosen the shoulder joint and cause dislocation. Kids who do gymnastics, play on jungle gyms and do other equally physical activities can also risk dislocation if they fall on the shoulder or hit it on something.

What Are The Signs?

For those who have never experienced a shoulder dislocation, it can be hard to recognize the signs of the injury. The shoulder area is likely to swell significantly if it's been dislocated. In addition, it may look red and feel warm when you touch it due to inflammation. That inflammation will often cause pain and discomfort, especially when moving the arm. Sometimes, a dislocated shoulder bruises due to damage to the tissue around the joint.

What Treatments Are There?

Your child's pediatrician should be your first call if you suspect a shoulder dislocation. If the pediatrician's office isn't open, an urgent care or emergency room will help. While you wait for the visit, put an ice pack on the shoulder to help calm the swelling.

The doctor will typically sedate your child before resetting the joint. He or she will then push the bone back into place in the joint. Once the arm position is restored, your child will be fitted with a sling to keep the arm immobilized while the shoulder heals. This is important because the trauma to the tissue can be significant.

Depending on the severity of the injury, the pediatrician may also suggest that your child attend physical therapy to help restore movement and strengthen the muscle. Physical therapy will typically include strength training like resistance bands, weights and the like as well as range of motion and stretching exercises.

Shoulder dislocation can be very painful, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Now that you know how it can happen, what the signs are and how it should be dealt with, you can help your child if he or she is injured. For more information, offices like Entira Family Clinics can help.


3 July 2016

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