Question - Dislocated Shoulder

by John Warren
(Phoenix, AZ.)

My son recently dislocated his shoulder during football practice.

He is a sophomore with 2 years left and the season is over. At the time of the injury we were aware of the seriousness of a shoulder dislocation and possible re-occurance %'s being so high.

The x-rays from the hospital showed no ligament or cartilage damage but, what I recently have read they would be hard to see and an MRI should have been performed to accurately determine if anything was torn. If the ligaments are torn will they heal themselves with a therapy program? Is arthroscopic repair the only solution?


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Oct 31, 2008
shoulder ligament damage
by: Bart - SII

You are correct, an X-ray will likely not show any type of ligament or cartilage damage, only disruptions in the bone.

If he suffered a dislocation, then he has ligament and possibly cartilage damage. It is virtually impossible to dislocate without damaging the ligaments (unless he had chronically unstable shoulders to begin with).

Dislocations often produce tearing of the anterior/inferior capsule of the shoulder, as well as the anterior/inferior portion of the glenoid labrum (a bankart tear). If handled correctly, capsule/ligament damage can heal after a first time dislocation, and with proper protection during healing, and a comprehensive strengthening program that focuses on the scapular stabilizers and functional stability of the shoulder, you can avoid surgery.

However, the recurrence rate for shoulder dislocations is high, especially if he returns to contact or collision sports like football. This is especially true if he has a labral pathology, as they generally do not heal with conservative treatment and can contribute significantly to shoulder instability.

I would recommend following up with an orthopedist for further diagnostics, an MRI Arthrogram, and to explore your treatment options.


Nov 01, 2008
dislocated shoulder
by: John Warren

Upon a dislocated shoulder most of the time the inferior glenohumeral ligament is torn, will it repair itself over time and with therapy?

May 31, 2010
first dislocation...what do i have to do?
by: Greg 7

Hello and congatulations for your page,

I'm a 27 years old soccer playerand had my first shoulder dislocation about 3 weeks ago whilst playing soccer for my team...i was pushed and fell on my outstreched arm which caused my shoulder dislocation-the most painfull experience ever!..after the relocation my shoulder was immobilised with a sling...i had x ray and mri...the mri showed a minor Hill Sachs lesion which the orthopedic doctor explained as not a major problem and a Bankart Lesion which as he said is likely to need surgery in the future as it usually causes instability of the shoulder...

As you can understand i want to avoid surgery if possible..i've read some of your post which imply that if correct tratment by early immobilization and PT can prevent surgery after first dislocation...I would appriciate some advise on my injury as to how long should i keep my shoulder immobilised with a sling and when to start physio therapy and whats the best way to go with it?...which is the time frame u recomend for:

1) Getting out of a sling (doctor said between 4-6 weeks)

2) Start physiotherapy

3) Resume soccer spesific training
(running,agility, ball work shooting passing etc)

4) Get back into playing

Currently i only do cycling to keep my aerobic fitness levels and thats about it. Also would glucosamine be beneficial for this kind of injury?

Looking forward for your reply.



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