For many people with a shoulder dislocation, treatment includes immobilization in a sling until the shoulder is comfortable (usually three to four weeks), ice, rest and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, Aleve or Motrin.
In patients who suffer multiple dislocations or those who participate in contact sports, surgery is an option. We are usually able to perform the procedure arthroscopically in an outpatient setting. The procedure involves repairing the labrum and capsule back to the glenoid so that the shoulder does not dislocate. Following surgery, the shoulder is immobilized in a sling for four to six weeks to allow time for the tissue to heal back to bone. Once this has occurred, physical therapy begins to improve the range of motion and strength of the shoulder.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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