A shoulder dislocation is a common injury among teenage athletes and young adults. It is not nearly as common for an older person to suffer a dislocated shoulder. While young athletes have to worry about recurrent instability, this injury presents a different challenge for an older patient, which I discuss in this Ask Dr. Geier video.

Carson asks:
I am 44. I dislocated my shoulder. I went to Jiu Jitsu this evening and popped it out again during sparring. I went back to the hospital, and they popped it back. Can I get back to sparring/Jiu Jitsu if I properly look after this injury?

For patients in their teenage years or active people in their early twenties, a shoulder dislocation is a challenging injury. Very often the shoulder becomes unstable, popping out over and over again. Often the patient must undergo arthroscopic surgery to reattach the labrum (a cartilage bumper on the socket) and tighten the capsule to stabilize the shoulder and keep the ball in the socket as he or she return to sports.

X-ray of a patient with a shoulder dislocation

An older patient, such as one older than 40 years old, might have that same recurrent instability, but it is much less common than in the young patients. The bigger challenge with older patients after a dislocated shoulder is a rotator cuff tear.

In this video, I discuss signs of a rotator cuff tear after a shoulder dislocation if you are older than 40 as well as why it is important to see an orthopedic surgeon quickly.

Also read:
How do I know if my shoulder injury is serious?
How long are you sore and stiff after dislocating your shoulder?

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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