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Dislocated and separated shoulder

Posted on: June 26th, 2020 by Our Team

Dislocated and separated shoulders are two separate physical conditions that cause significant pain and mobility struggles in affected individuals. Dr. Thomas Hackett specializes in shoulder, knee, and elbow problems. He serves patients in and around the Vail and Frisco, Colorado areas. Dr. Hackett can help to bring your dislocated or separated shoulder back to working condition.

Dislocated Shoulder

When a shoulder becomes dislocated, the top of the arm bone shifts out of the shoulder socket. In many instances, this injury is caused by some type of sudden fall or blunt trauma. Severe dislocations could result in more serious physical issues such as damage to surrounding nerves and tissues.

Separated Shoulder

Shoulder separations occur when ligaments that conjoin the collarbone and shoulder blade become damaged or torn. This action enables the collarbone to shift from its normal location. Like dislocations, separations are typically caused by events like falls and extreme or excessive force. Both injuries are common and often affect athletes.

Associated Physical Manifestations

Individuals with shoulder dislocations might experience symptoms such as moderate-to-severe discomfort in the shoulder and upper arm regions. Additionally, patients might experience mobility problems. Moreover, dislocations can cause the development of a bump appearing in front or back of the shoulder. This occurrence is indicative of abnormal bone shifting. Separated shoulders produce severe pain. Other notable manifestations include swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the collarbone.


Doctors might be able to reach a definitive diagnosis without the use of diagnostic tools. However, they might employ X-rays to eliminate other potential issues like bone fractures.

Potential Treatment Options

The treatment that Dr. Hackett uses depends on the individual and the severity of the injury. However, both shoulder dislocations and separations often need certain common treatments.

In the case of both dislocations and separations, Dr. Hackett will reposition the shifted bones. When the bones are repositioned, the treatment will start to focus on reducing pain and improving movement. This will usually be accomplished through physical therapy exercises. If the injuries are particularly severe or not treated promptly, surgery may be needed.

Recovery time varies for each individual. It is dependent on the specific injury that the patient suffered. Separations often take up to six weeks to completely heal. Dislocations typically require anywhere from three to as many as twelve weeks for complete recovery. Also, to avoid recurrence, patients are urged to ease back into any exercise or athletic regiment.

Contacting Dr. Hackett

Residents of the Vail and Frisco regions who injured their shoulders and are encouraged to contact Dr. Hackett as soon as possible. Dr. Hackett can perform a thorough evaluation, come up with a diagnosis, and create a treatment plan for each patient. If you suffered a recent injury, contact Dr. Hackett for an appointment.

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