A shoulder dislocation is a painful, challenging injury. You often need a doctor to reduce it, or pop the shoulder back into place. You occasionally need surgery. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss what to expect in the days and weeks after dislocating your shoulder.

Sara asks:
I dislocated my shoulder while snowboarding 4 weeks ago. Should I still be very sore and tender? I can’t reach behind myself without pain. Should I go back to being in a sling a little longer and continue PT? It’s upsetting not knowing if this is normal or not.

After dislocating your shoulder, a doctor or orthopedic surgeon will likely give you a sling to help decrease your pain. He or she might also have you work with a physical therapist to regain shoulder motion and strength.

Tennis player with pain after dislocating your shoulder

In this video, I discuss how long you could be stiff and sore after dislocating your shoulder. I offer some guidance to figure out if you should see your doctor to figure out if you aren’t healing as quickly as you should. I even discuss signs you could need surgery to stabilize an unstable shoulder.

Also read:
Can you return to play after a shoulder dislocation?
Does an older adult need surgery for a shoulder dislocation?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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