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Dislocated Shoulder Treatment

If your shoulder is dislocated, it means the ball of your shoulder bone has popped out of its socket. The injury can make your joint unstable, meaning you're more likely to experience another shoulder dislocation. Look to EvergreenHealth for the expert care that is needed to help stabilize your joint, so it stays securely in place over the long term.

Causes of Dislocation & Shoulder Instability

Your shoulder bone may first slip out of place due to a sports injury or a fall on your arm. The injury may also harm shoulder ligaments, tendons, or the labrum—soft tissue that helps keep the joint in place. That means you may continue to experience joint problems, even after you get treatment for the dislocation.

Signs & Symptoms

A dislocated shoulder causes severe pain and trouble moving your arm. If the injury leads to shoulder instability, you may feel like your joint is loose and keeps giving out.


To find the cause of your symptoms, an EvergreenHealth medical professional will examine your shoulder and may order:

  • X-ray test to show if your shoulder is out of place or fractured
  • MRI to check for a labrum tear (Bankart lesion) or other soft-tissue injuries

Treating a Dislocated Shoulder

A paramedic or a health care provider in the emergency room can manually put your joint back in place to relieve pain. You'll wear a sling for a few days or weeks to protect your shoulder as it heals. You will then follow up with our EvergreenHealth shoulder experts for further evaluation. Our experts will recommend the most appropriate treatment for your condition. This can include medicine, immobilization and eventually, physical therapy to help you safely restore the strength and mobility in your joint.

Treating Shoulder Instability

If your shoulder remains loose, you may need surgery to repair injured soft tissue so your shoulder joint does not continue to dislocate. An EvergreenHealth fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon will recommend the best procedure for your injury and symptoms. Procedures can include:

  • Bankart repair for a torn labrum
  • Latarjet surgery to treat bone loss in the glenoid (shoulder blade socket)

Our fellowship trained shoulder surgeons will take a minimally invasive approach to surgery. These techniques often use small incisions and minimizes soft tissue trauma so you recover faster and with less pain.

If you need traditional surgery, which uses a larger incision, you'll appreciate access to EvergreenHealth surgeons with training and experience in open procedures. Trust us to help you achieve your best outcome, so you can get back to sports, work, and your everyday activities.

Make An Appointment

Call (425) 899-4810 in Kirkland or (360) 794-3300 in Monroe to make an appointment with one of our Shoulder & Elbow Care specialists.

Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Find out how personalized rehabilitation and therapy can help you recover as quickly as possible after orthopedic surgery.