Your shoulders arguably are one of the sturdiest parts of your body. However, despite the wear and tear these joints can withstand under normal circumstances, they can be susceptible to damage if you are injured while playing sports, are involved in a car accident, or even when slipping and falling on a patch of ice. One of the worst injuries that you could sustain a dislocated shoulder. If you dislocate your shoulder, it is vital that you know for what reasons you should seek emergency medical help.
Dislocated Sholders Are Emergencies
Simply put, all shoulder dislocations should be considered emergencies. In fact, there is never a situation where it would benefit you to wait to see a doctor or even try to fix the damage by yourself at home. A dislocated shoulder will not magically pop back into place on its own. Instead, you must seek emergency medical help with this injury.
Indeed, when you dislocate this part of your body, you also risk injury to the tendons, ligaments and soft tissues surrounding the humerus in your arm. If these parts of your arm become damaged, you could lose all function and feeling in your shoulder. Even more, the nerves and the blood flow to your shoulder could be restricted or cut off entirely. If this happens, the soft tissue surrounding your shoulder could die.
Dislocated Sholders Are Painful
A shoulder dislocation is incredibly painful. In fact, if you have a relatively low threshold for any kind of discomfort, you may be caught off guard by how painful this injury actually is. When you go the ER after dislocating this joint, however, you can get immediate help with your pain and find relief from the agony of this injury.
Your physician will give you either an IV pain medication or an injection before putting your bone back into place. After your shoulder is repaired, you may also receive a prescription to help with the pain during your recovery in the next few days.
Dislocated Sholders Can be Repaired
You should also go to the ER simply because your shoulder can be repaired if you seek immediate help. If you are seen right away, the doctor on call can either manipulate your bone back into the socket or refer you for surgery if the damage is more extensive.
If you must undergo surgery for this injury, it is vital that you disclose your medical history prior to your operation. Your surgeon will want to know information like:
- Other health conditions you have
- Other medications you take on a regular basis
- The date and nature of your last surgical procedure
- How your shoulder was injured and dislocated
These facts can help the doctor perform an effective procedure that will put your shoulder back into place and facilitate your quick recovery.
Emergency Care Prevents Lasting Damage
Anytime you break or dislocate a bone, you risk suffering permanent damage or deformities if you do not get immediate medical attention. This risk is elevated when you delay treatment because the infection could set in or soft tissues and nerves could die before the damage is repaired.
If you delay getting help, your shoulder may not be able to go back into its socket all the way. Likewise, you may be left with a bulge, callus, or uneven shoulder if you avoid getting treatment.
When dealing with this kind of injury, time is of the essence in getting your body to heal itself and restore your joint back to its normal function and appearance. Going to the ER right away could be your first line of defense in preventing lasting damage or disfiguration.
A dislocated shoulder is a genuine medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Rather than wait or try to fix your injury on your own, you should go to the ER to have your shoulder treated for these important reasons.