Dislocations in which the arm moves backward out of the socket (called a posterior dislocation) are uncommon (4%). Posterior subluxation is being recognized more frequently in athletes involved in sports such as tennis and baseball.
As mentioned above, sudden dislocation is an emergency. The patient should be taken to the emergency room immediately to make sure there is no damage to the blood vessels or nerve that go to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Usually, the emergency room physician can move the arm in such a way that the dislocated shoulder reduces back into its proper place. Rarely is surgery indicated. Pain and muscle relaxant medication is often prescribed. Ice can also help reduce the pain. Physical therapy is usually started 2-3 weeks after a dislocation to strengthen the muscles that support the shoulder joint.
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