During the examination, if you have a shoulder injury, you might hear the terms “shoulder dislocation” and “shoulder subluxation” and question if they are interchangeable. These two shoulder ailments differ slightly from one another yet both affect how the joint works. A shoulder injury Understanding the fundamentals of the joint and the distinction between these two issues can be helpful during your recovery and rehabilitation if you do have a shoulder injury. Shoulder Anatomy To do actions like reach up and catch a ball or take something off a shelf, the shoulder joint is only loosely fastened.
The shoulder dislocates more frequently than other joints of a similar form because of its mobility. Think of your hand like the letter “C,” formed. Imagine now sliding the other hand inside the “C” while balling it into a fist. Similar to the one that lets you move your arm, this synovial ball and socket joint is fundamental. The shoulder is known as the glenohumeral joint in medicine. The ball head of the humerus, the main upper bone in your arm, meets the glenoid fossa, the “C” figure or socket, of your shoulder blade at your shoulder. To retain the ball inside the “C,” a capsule of connective tissue surrounds the joint.
A shoulder can move in any direction and can dislocate in a variety of ways. The ball and socket must remain aligned for the joint to move freely. That alignment can be altered and injuries can result from just a hard blow to the shoulder.
What exactly is a dislocated shoulder?
A shoulder dislocation occurs when the joint’s ball and socket have completely separated. The humerus’ ball portion has completely separated from the glenoid fossa. Because the glenoid fossa, or the socket of the joint, is so shallow, the humerus bone can easily get loose and produce this common injury. The ball part of the humerus pulls out of its socket and is forced towards the front of the body in the majority of anterior dislocations. This is a wound that might develop after a fall. Putting your hands out in front of you to try to halt falling is an instinct. The shoulder joint’s ball bursts out or dislocates as you land, moving towards the front.
What is Shoulder Subluxation?
A form of dislocation called shoulder subluxation occurs when the ball and socket are not completely separated. The joint’s two structures are still in touch, but one of them has moved out of place. Damage to the joint’s supporting structure, such as tears in the muscles or tendons, may make the joint more prone to subluxation. For instance, a shoulder subluxation may occur in a baseball player who injures his rotator cuff. The muscles and connective tissue that make up the rotator cuff hold the joint together. If the muscle tears, the joint’s ball may become sufficiently loose to allow the humerus bone to move while still being contained in the glenoid fossa.
A subluxation typically concerns the mechanical integrity of the shoulder and its supporting structures, whereas a dislocation involves the structures of the shoulder.
How to Recognize an Injury
The two most noticeable signs of these two injuries, pain and arm immobility are comparable despite the significant variances between them. Your natural inclination will be to use your other hand to support the weight of your arm. Along with numbness and tingling in the arm, muscular spasms close to the shoulder, and bruising and swelling around the joint are possible symptoms. However, a dislocated shoulder may appear physically abnormal. The shoulder may square off and appear to be at an abnormal angle because the ball and socket have entirely separated. Frequently, the dislocation may be accompanied by a fracture. You might detect a bump at the top of the shoulder when you have a shoulder subluxation. This is the joint’s ball that is extending beyond the glenoid fossa.
Available Treatment Alternatives
The severity of the connective tissue injury around the joint and whether the humeral ball is entirely displaced both affect how these two injuries should be treated. The shoulder’s supporting structures, including the nerves and blood flow, may suffer damage from a full shoulder dislocation. While forcing the ball back into the socket eases the pain, doing so without enough rest and rehabilitation could lead to more harm. Treatment for shoulder subluxation aims to address mechanical issues, such as a torn rotator cuff, to allow the shoulder to heal. If you suspect a separation or dislocation, the best course of action is to immobilize the shoulder as soon as possible with a splint or sling.
Always Consult The Expert
There are various options for shoulder surgery and treatment. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and medical treatment as soon as possible so you can get back to your normal routine. You can see Dr. Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay, the best orthopedic ACL Surgeon in Gurgaon. With the use of advanced technology and his expertise, he can treat any form of severe shoulder or knee related injury.
For a consultation on your case or a second opinion, get in touch with us right away.