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When to Go to the ER or Urgent Care for a Dislocated Shoulder in DFW

  • Category: Injuries
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jay Woody, MD
When to Go to the ER or Urgent Care for a Dislocated Shoulder in DFW

Hollywood makes it look like dislocated shoulders are nothing to worry about as long as you’re tough enough. However, the reality is far different. In reality, at-home treatment can cause severe complications and prevent your shoulder from healing correctly. Visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care for dislocated shoulder treatment if you have this injury.

Do you want to know what to expect when treating a dislocated shoulder? Learn about dislocated shoulder treatment and recovery.

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms and Treatment

You may hear an audible pop when dislocating your shoulder, but that’s not always true. However, you can expect to experience lots of pain immediately following the injury, accompanied by swelling, bruising, and mobility issues. Also, dislocated shoulders are often visibly deformed.

You can get a fast diagnosis and begin treatment by visiting an ER or urgent care for a dislocated shoulder. Once diagnosed, your doctor must put the shoulder back in place. This usually requires a non-surgical closed reduction procedure. Then, your doctor will provide a sling or splint to keep the shoulder in place while it heals.

Surgery may be needed if the shoulder can’t be safely put back in place with a non-surgical procedure or if there is additional damage that must be addressed. Also, your doctor might suggest surgery if you dislocate your shoulder often. Chronic dislocations indicate that your joint isn’t stable and needs further repair. Otherwise, you could experience more joint injuries.

dislocated shoulder

Can You Put Your Shoulder Back in Place Yourself?

You might have heard people talk about popping their shoulders back in place after dislocating them and wanting to do the same thing. It’s understandable to want the pain to go away immediately, but you risk damaging nerves, ligaments, muscles, and blood vessels if you do it yourself. The additional damage can make you more susceptible to other dislocations in the future and might cause you to need surgery.

Recovering from a Shoulder Dislocation

Recovery periods vary based on the extent of the dislocation. Most people reach full recovery for minor dislocations within weeks, but it can take months to heal when the shoulder is surgically repaired fully.

Regardless of the extent of the injury, you’ll need to wear a sling or splint to immobilize the shoulder and prevent further damage. You’ll probably need to wear the sling or splint 24 hours a day for the first week and then be allowed to take it off during short periods so you can bathe and get dressed. Still, you’ll continue to sleep with the sling or splint. This can be uncomfortable, but propping yourself up on pillows can help.

Keeping your shoulder immobilized can cause it to freeze or tighten, so it’s important to do gentle exercises during recovery. Follow your doctor’s orders so you don’t overdo the exercises and cause additional damage.

After two to four weeks, you should be ready to start physical therapy for dislocated shoulder injuries. This will help you regain your strength and range of motion while your shoulder continues to heal.

Emergency Care During Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

Most people recover from dislocated shoulders without incident, but complications can occur. Go to urgent care or the emergency room if the pain or swelling increases, the skin on your hand or arm looks pale or purple, or you have a fever.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care

DFW-Area Dislocated Shoulder Treatment

Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to meet your medical care needs by providing affordable pricing and quality care. As part of Intuitive Health’s innovative hybrid model ER and urgent care system, patients are only billed for the level of care they receive from professional and highly trained medical staff. With six facilities located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, emergent and non-emergent care are accessible and transparent, focusing on superb customer service.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations in the DFW area: