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Dislocated my shoulder and can't lift my arm

  1. Dorsi profile image92
    Dorsiposted 6 years ago

    Well I'm just in a doozy. I dislocated my shoulder last weekend, had to go to ER, x-rays and then they reset the shoulder. Now I'm in a sling but I still can't raise my arm more than a few inches.

    So I come to my fellow hubbers here who have such a wealth of info on so many things....

    is this normal for a dislocated shoulder


    Have I perhaps done more damage? I'm in a sling and see the Dr. Monday (btw I have done my due google research diligence on possible scenarios....sigh)

    I'm going stir-crazy. Thank God my fingers work.

    1. dutchman1951 profile image61
      dutchman1951posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I am sorry you are having to deal with this injury, some swelling in the joint is normal, and possibly some stiffness, but....

      I would check with an Orthopedic doctor, because they do have a whole healing routine for that typeof injury.

      You may be to early for Physical Therapy, but you do not want muscle lock, or possibly scar tissue or fluid in that joint either, it will become im-mobile, and thats no good..

      Please see an Orthopedic specialist.
      my Best wishes, for good health from now on.

    2. BRIAN SLATER profile image87
      BRIAN SLATERposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Ouch - I can feel the pain for you. I dislocated my  shoulder a few years ago now and had it put back. I remember feeling quite comfortable once it was back. It was sore for several weeks but I was told then to keep doing gentle movements with the arm, but not to lift my arms above my head. Do not try to hold or carry with the bad arm as this may cause it to come out again.
      I know a friend of mine who had to have surgery because the shoulder wouldn't stay seated in the correct position. An x-ray should prove decisive if this is the case.
      Are you taking anti-inflammatory tablets to ease the discomfort?

      Look on the bright side, doing things left handed can be fun. lol

  2. Aficionada profile image88
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    Oh, Dorsi, I'm so sorry to hear about this!!  And I hope it will heal very soon.

    I don't know anything about a dislocated shoulder, but I'm hoping that someone else will see this question and respond.  It doesn't really sound right to me, but I know that some injuries take longer to heal than others do.  Have you done anything since the resetting that you think could have damaged it further?

  3. Rochelle Frank profile image97
    Rochelle Frankposted 6 years ago

    It will probably take awhile to feel  normal.
    I dislocated a thumb 20 or 30 years ago and it was sore for quite awhile. Now that I am  (a bit) older, I still feel an occasional twinge in that joint.
    Some people think it is not serious because it was not broken-- but it can be a complex injury, and it will take some time, don't rush it.

    One funny thing-- after I did it I went to school(as a sub teacher) with it heavily bandaged. One curious kid finally asked what was wrong with my hand. I said it was ok I just dislocated my thumb. 
    He obviously had good word skills because he got very wide-eyed and said  "You mean they can't find it?..!!..?"

  4. Diane Inside profile image80
    Diane Insideposted 6 years ago

    hey sorry to hear that, I am a certified occupational therapist and worked with shoulders quite a bit. Just a few questions.

    Can you lift it with the other arm with less or no pain?

    Can you lift it arm at the side forward?

    Can you lift it arm at the side and raise arm out to the side?

    Exactly how did you dislocate your shoulder?

    a few things come to mind like a torn muscle, or an impingement of some kind.

    I know a few exercises that might work and are very simple but I'd like to know a little more if you could elaborate.

  5. Dorsi profile image92
    Dorsiposted 6 years ago

    @Aficionada) Thanks. That's what I was wondering because when they first reset it it popped out again so they had to do it again. Maybe it popped out again?

    @Rochelle) Oh gosh thanks for that last line. That was a laugh I needed right now!

    @Diane) I tried lifting it with other hand. It hurts bad and won't lift either.

    I can only lift it a few inches to the front or side.It feels dead like I have no strength. sigh....

    Thanks for trying to help me and thanks for the well wishes guys...

    1. Aficionada profile image88
      Aficionadaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I hope Diane Inside will see this and respond!  Even though you have an appointment on Monday, it may be best to try to see the doctor tomorrow.  I would see what DI says - but if she doesn't respond here, you could call the Dr.'s office in the morning and ask what they think (i.e. come in tomorrow or wait).  I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this!

  6. TMMason profile image69
    TMMasonposted 6 years ago

    I did that back in 1990 to my right shoulder and it took about 18 months and several surgeries to get it right... then I used it fine untill 2005, when I fell from a truss and grabbed the cross beam... and snappo out it came again. So I went and they had to do more sugeries to remove the torn, supra-scapulary, sub scapulary, supra-spranitus sub-spranitus, both bicep tendons and the labrum, did a lateral decompression and removed several spurrs and burrs, and to this day it isn't the same.

    But once yours get better continue to build it up.. but it will never be as good as new, but it will be usable I believe. mine is once again, just not like it used to be.

  7. Hollie Thomas profile image60
    Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago

    I feel for you. I dislocated my left shoulder for the first time 20 years ago. I have dislocated it no less than 15 times since. I was also run over in 2003 and some how managed to dislocate my right shoulder for the first time. Don't want to sound like the pessimist
    but you need to be really careful now as the probability of it happening again is high due to the stretching of the muscles that hold the bone into the socket. The pain you feel, at least in my experience, should diminish pretty soon. If it doesn't you may have frozen shoulder, which can be common after dislocation. But a cortosone (sorry can't spell it)injection will sort that out. I was given some exercises to do which did help a little. This all sounds very negative, not meant to, I was advised to have surgery some years ago after dislocating my shoulder when I turned over in bed-I refused because I'm such a coward! I'd ask about some physio exercises if I were you, not only should they help but they might prevent it from happening again.

  8. Stacie L profile image90
    Stacie Lposted 6 years ago

    ouch! yikes  I can feel your pain...I fell on my left side-twice and dislocated AND damaged my rotator cuff.
    It does take some time to completely heel.
    In the meantime, there is something called..speaking to type...Dragon makes a popular software brand

  9. Richieb799 profile image76
    Richieb799posted 6 years ago

    I lie on my shoulder while I'm working on my laptop, had really bad pains in it before now lol roll

  10. Hollie Thomas profile image60
    Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago

    That might just be a dead arm-if you know what I mean.

  11. Diane Inside profile image80
    Diane Insideposted 6 years ago

    Hi sorry didn't see it last night, but yes definately go to the doctor.

    I still feel like it could be a torn rotator cuff , which depending in the severity could mean surgery, so I wouldn't do anything till a doctor is consulted.

    if a doctor gives the ok and says he sees no injuries, you could start doing some very mild Codmans exercises or pendulum exercises as they are sometimes called.  But do not do anything till you consult a doctor, because do any excersises right now could injure it even more, torn muscles, ligaments, etc. Are hard to work on but can be done back to full range of motion so don't despair, just get it checked before trying anything.

  12. RedElf profile image84
    RedElfposted 6 years ago

    I have a torn rotator cuff, and my sister's shoulder "froze" because of an injury. Took her a couple of years to get full movement, but that was because of poor treatment (almost none - stupid doc). Stay on top of this one, my dear! ...and hang in there - I am sure you'll be fine.

  13. Dorsi profile image92
    Dorsiposted 6 years ago

    @dutchman) Thanks. My dr. referred me for physical therapy and to see a ortho specialist.
    @Aficionada)Thanks - I did end up waiting till Monday though.
    @TMMason) Wow - what alot you have been through with your shoulder. Thanks for sharing your experience and I have a feeling this shoulder issue will be one of those life-changers.
    @Brian) Ouch....sorry to hear you had to go through this too. I am taking anti-inflammatory's...and pain killers
    @Holly) Ouch again.... a steroid shot sounds pretty good right about now....
    @Stacie) Thanks, I think I've heard of that software but happily my fingers work pretty good..lol
    @Rirchie) Too funnnnyy....
    @Diane) I have a feeling it might be a torn rotator cuff...
    @RedElf)Thanks and I will!