Symmetry Blog

Injury of the week - Shoulder Dislocation

Symmetry Physio - Monday, May 08, 2017

Bulldogs suffered another injury with Josh Dunkley hurt on the weekend.


Shoulder Dislocation

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the ball of the should joint pops out of its socket or cup (see image to right). In most cases, the shoulder ball will pop out to the front due to direct contact or a heavy fall, often with an outstretched arm, interestingly Josh Dunkley appeared to simply have his outstretched arm caught between another player as he reached a tackle. The dislocation will result in a shoulder with an obvious deformity (see the distorted shape of Dunkley's left shoulder). Due to the nature of the injury, it is likely that the soft tissue such as the ligaments and capsule surrounding the joint will be torn or stretched, as the ball pops out. This creates the issue! 

While the tissues are injured, the stability of the joint is compromised and risk of re-dislocation remains high. The medical team will have analysed Josh's scans to determine the extent of this damage and use this in their decision making. In sports people, surgical stabilisation is often the treatment if choice. Initial indications look as though this will be the case for Josh meaning he will likely undergo 3-4 month rehabilitation post-surgery, making this a potential season-ending injury.

In other cases, if the tissue damage is minimal, the shoulder will be given 4-8 weeks to allow the tissues, ligament and joint capsule to heal and stabilise conservatively. A number of weeks will be spent with the team physio's, working really hard at strengthening the muscles around the shoulder and likely remained taped to play. This works by supporting the shoulder is most unstable.

We wish Josh a successful rehabilitation should he undergo surgery as expected!

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