Shoulder Dislocation X Ray

While the hip has a deep pocket, the shoulder also has a socket but it is much shallower. The makeup of the shoulder consists of a socket joint and a ball. Because of the way this sets up, the shoulder enjoys a broader range of movement than the hip. The down side is the shoulder is a little more unstable.

It's common to dislocate your shoulder while participating in sports. It doesn't matter if you hit a patch and fly off of your mountain bike or you are trying to make the winning catch in baseball, don't be surprised if you end up with a dislocated shoulder. When that happens, a shoulder dislocation X ray will be able to evaluate your condition.

Signs of Dislocated Shoulder

You may develop the following symptoms:

  • A shoulder that is obviously out of place
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Great pain
  • Difficulty in moving the joint
  • Numbness and weakness
  • A tingling sensation in neck or arm
  • Spasm of the shoulder muscles

If you feel like your shoulder has become dislocated, you should seek medical attention right away. While you are waiting to see the doctor:

  • Do not move your shoulder. If you can put together a sling to take the pressure off the hanging shoulder, that would help. Don’t try to put it back into the socket, you may end up creating more problems than you already have by damaging the muscles around it as well as the blood vessels and nerves.
  • Put ice on your shoulder. If you can put ice on your shoulder, you may be able to bring down the swelling and eliminate some of the pain.

Diagnosing Dislocated Shoulder

The first thing the doctor will do is feel around your shoulder and the socket area to check the swelling, deformity and tenderness. You will have to have an X-ray taken to know if your shoulder has been dislocated, if you have broken any bones, or if you endured any other type of damage to your shoulder.

Shoulder Dislocation X Ray

While most of us have had an X-ray at some point in our life, what exactly is it? Used to diagnose conditions, this test utilizes an electromagnetic energy beams that are invisible. They produce images of the bones, organs, and internal tissues on film. X-rays are also used to confirm tumors and injuries to the bones.

External radiation is used to create the images of the body, internal structures, and organs in order to provide a more definitive diagnosis. The X-rays go through the structures of the body and provide a "negative" with solid areas showing up in white.

There are parts of the body that will allow a certain amount of the beams from the X-ray to go through them. When the skin, fat, and muscles show up on the X-ray they look gray on the film. If you have a tumor it will show up white on the X-ray. If you have a broken bone, you will see a dark line that goes through the area of the bone.

Below are some cases of pictures of what shoulder X-rays look like from

  • Normal shoulder x-rays 


                   Frontal                                                    Axial

  • Anterior shoulder dislocation X rays


If you'd like to see clearer demonstration of anterior shoulder dislocation x-rays, check here.

  • Posterior shoulder dislocation X rays


               Frontal                                           Lateral

If you'd like to see clearer demonstration of posterior shoulder dislocation x-rays, check here.

How Is Shoulder Dislocation Treated?

When you're examined with shoulder dislocation X ray, your doctor will be able to find the proper treatments for you to help the shoulder get back into place.

1. Reduction

This is what is known as putting the dislocated bone back into place. The shoulder should only be reduced, or put back into the socket by a trained professional in the medical field. Do not try to put it back into place on your own or ask a friend to do it. For most young adults who are less than 30 years old, reduction is the best course of action.

2. Immobilization

Another option is putting the arm in a sling so that the shoulder is immobilized. It should remain in a sling until the tissues are healed. You will need rehabilitation so you can get back your strength and mobility. You will probably have to be in the sling for 5 to 7 days or more. NSAIDS (ibuprofen) can help to remove the inflammation and pain.

3. Exercises

Once you are no longer wearing the sling you will need to exercise so you can expand your range of motion. You will want to strengthen the muscles in your rotator cuff so they are better able to support the shoulder and help to prevent another dislocation. Look for workouts that use resistance bands to build your strength.

4. Surgery

If your shoulder keeps slipping out of the socket you may need to undergo surgery. Most surgical procedures are performed right after the dislocation if it has been determined there has been any damage to nerves, muscles, tendons or blood vessels. If your shoulder continues to become dislocated, you may need to have surgery to keep it stabilized.

5. Rehabilitation

Once the sling or splint you have on your shoulder is removed, you will be able to partake in a rehabilitation program. This will help to improve your range of motion as well as the stability and strength to your shoulder.

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