Depending on the severity of the injury, your family doctor or the emergency room physician may recommend that an orthopedic surgeon examine the injury.
What you can do
You may want to jot down the following:
- Detailed descriptions of the symptoms and the precipitating event
- Information about past medical problems
- All medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
For a dislocated shoulder, some basic questions might include:
- Is my shoulder dislocated?
- What tests do I need?
- What treatment approach do you recommend? Are there alternatives?
- How long will it take for my shoulder to heal?
- Will I have to stop participating in sports? For how long?
- How can I protect myself from re-injuring my shoulder?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor might ask you questions, such as:
Aug. 16, 2014
- How did you injure your shoulder?
- How severe is your pain?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Can you move your arm?
- Is your arm numb or tingling?
- Have you dislocated your shoulder before?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Sherman SC, et al. Shoulder dislocation and reduction. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Dislocated shoulder. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00035. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Questions and answers about shoulder problems. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Shoulder_Problems/default.asp. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Traumatic shoulder dislocation. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. http://www.sportsmed.org/Patient/Sports_Tips/AOSSM_Sports_Tips_Sheets/. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Zacchilli MA, et al. Epidemiology of shoulder dislocations presenting to emergency departments in the United States. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2010;92:542.