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Shoulder Instability: Dislocation or Separation

Shoulder Instability: Dislocation or Separation

Dislocated shoulder. In this injury, a fall or blow causes the top of your arm bone to pop out of the shoulder socket. Unlike a lot of joints in your body — your elbow, for instance — the shoulder is incredibly mobile. You can twist and move your upper arm in almost any direction. But there’s a price for this ease of movement. The shoulder joint is inherently unstable, prone to slipping out of place.
In severe cases of dislocated shoulder, the tissue and nerves around the shoulder joint get damaged. If you keep dislocating your shoulder, you could wind up with chronic instability and weakness.

Separated shoulder. Despite the name, this injury doesn’t directly affect the shoulder joint. Instead, a fall or blow tears one of the ligaments that connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade.
Since it’s no longer anchored, the collarbone may move out of position and push against the skin near the top of your shoulder. Although separated shoulders can cause deformity, people usually recover fully with time.