Dislocated Shoulder. Doctor Necessary?

I'm sure I'll get hammered on this, but....

So far I've broken my left collar bone twice and dislocated my left shoulder once.

For each instance I drove myself to the emergency room the first time, then for the other occurances, waited over the weekend to go have the doc look at things.

It always seems the same. They look at me, charge me some money, then send me on my merry way and tell me to just not over do it.

The first time I separated my shoulder I also broke my collarbone so it was a done deal and I went to the doctor.

However, Last Sunday, I aggravated an injury I sustained the weekend before (I was still able to ride and race... shoulder only felt a little off) and basically just finished (I think) dislocating my shoulder when I dropped my bike in a corner and tried to hold it up with the handle bar... no shoulder to the ground or anything except the weekend before.

So, this is my long winded way of asking how y'all approach dislocated shoulders.

If I remember right my first one just kinda went back in on it's on over time.

Well, it's been about 4 days now and I THINK this one (other shouder) is getting better but not 100% certain (getting sore in different areas now).

So, the question is, do y'all wait out a dislocated shoulder before going to the doc, or, do you immediately go.

Hate to admit it but I guess the only reason I'm not going is because I'm trying to save a few bucks.

Perhaps stupid and maybe I can be nudged in the direction of the doctor.

Really just curious about the thoughts of those that have been there a few times. Before I broke my first collar bone I never would have considered not going to the doc for what I've got now.

FWIW, not protrusions :thumbsup:

OK. I'm bending over. BOHICA! (hey, I haven't seen that floating around on the internet.) :devil:

Ya, kinda no-brainer I would think :thumbsup:

If you have a repeated problem with dislocating it, they should be able to go in there and tighten up the lig's. I'm no doctor, but I DID sleep on the sofa last night

I agree some doctors just say the same thing and just send you on your way.. I was just recently in a hard core crash where my bike ACTUALLY clicked into neutral while half way up my 9 foot freestyle ramp, causing me to crash in the back flat part of my landing causing somehow my knee and leg to have extreme pain...and all the doctor said was nothing thats right nothing! what a doctor i tell ya. He didnt even touch my knee I showed it to him and said i think it feels like it is healing and because of that he didnt even touch it. :thumbsup:

Eddie, Get your ass to Columbia and see a real doctor...lol

Unfortunately after you have dislocated your shoulder once it is likely to reoccur, as the ligaments etc stretch/tear and do not heal properly.

If you do go to a doctor they will give you two scenarios:

1) Go to a physio to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, which will mean the shoulder is less likely to dislocate in the future. However, a physio cannot fix the problem, and can only reduce the likelihood it will happen again.

2) Get the shoulder operated on. This is the only way you can guarantee that the shoulder will be ‘fixed’. However, MX is so hard on the body it doesn’t guarantee that the shoulder won’t dislocate again. What it will guarantee though is that it won’t dislocate from doing simple things like trying to hold your bike up.

I’m not a doctor, but have had both of my shoulders operated on and have spend 1 year + at physio after the ops getting them right. After I had dislocated one of my shoulders the first time a doctor advised me that a physio could strengthen the shoulder up like new. After 3 months of physio, on my first wakeboard my shoulder fell out simply from me dragging my arm in the water.

My surgeon latter told me my doctor didn’t know what he was talking about and that once the damage is done the only way to get the shoulder back to pre-dislocated condition is via operation.

Also watch what surgeon you choose, as their success seems to vary as well (if you choose the operation).

If the damage isn’t too bad they can do the operation lathroscopically (god knows how to spell that) which leaves no scars and takes less time to heal.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you mind the fact that your shoulder will probably dislocate every time you land on it (or twist it while holding something), or if you want to fix the problem for good. If you don't care, don't waste your money at the doctors as there is nothing they can do (apart from refer you to a physio or surgeon).

I'm glad I had the operations, and my shoulders are now like new (5 years since operations and feeling perfect).

if its still dislocated lay stomach down on something tall enough to hang your arm straight down and tie a 20 lb barbell to your wrist(with bedsheet strip) and relax your arm totally it should slip back in after a few minutes. if its already back to the socket put it in a sling,and take your anti-inflammatory pills until it feels like you can use it without pain. now i'm not a doctor and this may be bad advice but it is what was done for me. :thumbsup:

you should go have an xray b/c if your shoulder stays out of place then you can do severe damage to the articular surface of the humerus at the shoulder. the edge of the glenoid fossa (socket) rubs on the head of the humerus (ball) and grooves the cartilage with normal use. you do not want this to happen. JMO.

After four days, if your shoulder is still dislocated, you definitely need to go to a hospital to get it reduced. The longer the shoulder is out, the more difficult it becomes to get it back into place and the greater the incidence of nerve injury - when the shoulder is out, it can put traction on the nerves and cause further damage.

That being said, if you can move your shoulder (gently) throughout the normal range of motion, it is probably not dislocated anymore. You need to make yourself a sling of some sort, and keep it immobilized for at least a week.

Either way, you need to get yourself to an orthopedic surgeon, as 1) fractures of the upper arm do occur in association with dislocations, and 2) Arthroscopic surgery is effective at treating repeated dislocations and is becoming the favored treatment for athletic individuals.

The technique mentioned above does work well for relocating shoulders if you absolutely cannot go to a doctor for whatever reason...

I had this done 2 years ago and my shoulder is much better.

It used to just pop out lying in bed.

Depending on how old you are, the method of dislocation can

be different, younger people tend to have a different type

of dislocation than older people. Also, the older you are

the more likely the dislocation will casue damage that will

need to be rapaired by surgery.

Go see a good orthopedic (sp?) surgeon.

Just some FYI, dislocation is different than separation.

2) Arthroscopic surgery is effective at treating repeated dislocations and is becoming the favored treatment for athletic individuals.

One of the good things about living in little old isolated New Zealand is that when you do fall off your dirt bike and dislocate your shoulder, the government pays for the doctors visits, surgery, physio etc etc Hence, whether to have surgery or not is an easy decision to make.

Went to a A & E clinic in Los Angeles last year for a really bad stomach ache. Holy crap!!!!!!!! Your health system is so unbelievably expensive!!!!!!!!! The visit to the doctor worked out at 13 times the cost of a doctors visit in NZ (I kid you not)

...and all the doctor said was nothing thats right nothing! what a doctor i tell ya. He didnt even touch my knee I showed it to him and said i think it feels like it is healing and because of that he didnt even touch it.

What Do You call the medical student that graduated last in his class?

Doctor :thumbsup:

I was in a car accident years ago, I had compression fractures in four vertebrae. The ER doc told me not to worry about it, that I was young and would heal. That Quack did not even write me scrip for pain meds. (prick)

After a few days of a lot of pain I went to a different doctor and he looked at the X-rays and sent me to Neuro Surgeon,(the same day) This guy was great, brace,orthhotics, and pain meds. :devil:

I dislocated my left shoulder 2 years ago overshooting a jump and going over the next berm. My shoulder looked like it moved to my chest.....terrible pain....I thought I destroyed my shoulder when I caught my breath. I stood up and reached around behind my back and grabbed my left arm and pulled down and it went back in. It popped out again while I was unloading my bike at home about an hour later. I was able to get it back in place the same way - reaching aroud behind my back and pulling down on my left arm. Over the next couple days it popped out in the shower and while sleeping a few times. I was so busy at the time, I decided not to see a doctor....I figured I'd wait and see if it improved. It put in in a sling for about a week, after that I began exercising it without any weight. I have a cable weight machine that I was able to do benchpress, shoulder press, flys,incline presses and reverse flys all without weight....just kinda going thru the motions. If I felt pain, I stopped the exersize immediately. I did these excersizes twice a day for about two weeks, slowly increasing the rep....all without weight. After several weeks when I felt no pain, I began to add very light weight and do high reps. I was back to full weight/strength in about 3 months.

I've broken,dislocated and torn about anything that can be done!!. If you do damage to the cartalige it's like running your engine out of oil, except it's not metal to metal but bone to bone!!, Pony up and get it fixed right!!. My brother is also a racer and has ignored the sighns!!!. He's had a hip replaced and a shoulder and knee joints!!. All very expensive procedures and he really can't ride any more!!. Get it fixed correctly now or pay I high price later. :thumbsup:

Thanks everyone.

Alot of mixed opinions and good info in here as usual. Guess I didn't need to bend over after all.

Still haven't gone to doctor yet... still might.

Maybe I should clarify that this is the first time I have dislocated this shoulder. I have dislocated my other shoulder before once also.

If it starts popping out (either one) then I'll definitely look into the surgery. Doesn't sound that bad or envasive. Expensive?

Thanks again.


I dislocated my shoulder about 6 weeks ago for the first time.

I did NOT go to the doctor for it. I have had nothing but problems since.

Today I was out for an easy mountain bike ride with the wife and kid. I hit a jump that was no big deal...but when I landed my shoulder popped out of socket.

I thought I was going to wad it good but I managed to haul it to a stop, jump off and pop it back in.

Now I get to go to work in pain for the next week....again.

This is not the first time I have had a problem like this.

It always happens on something stupid too.

I went downhilling in Kamloops, Canada (sun peaks)and did 22,000' vertical desending on some pretty burley shite without a problem. I though it was pretty good to go...but I guess not.

As much as I don't want to get cut on....I really have no choice. I am not going to live always wandering when it will pop out next.

I say go to the doc and at least have it looked at. :cry:

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now