There is no single right or wrong way to relocate a shoulder, and many methods have been described. Some techniques rely on analgesia and anaesthesia, whereas other methods are successful with the provision of no or minimal analgesia.
The best technique depends on your skill and experience, the patient, and your available resources. Of course a good clinical examination is essential before attempted reduction.
If a picture says a thousand words, then we think a video is worth ten thousand! Rather than simply describing techniques, here are real life examples of shoulder reductions performed on real patients, as well as video walkthroughs of reduction techniques performed on models. If you have a video of a shoulder relocation that you would like us to feature, please contact us.
Adequate positioning is the first step to relocating a shoulder. Analgesic positions provide immediate relief of pain, and will be adequate for most patients.Read more
Have you every wanted to teach your patients how to relocate their own shoulders? The Boss-Holzach-Matter technique is an autoreduction technique that you can teach yourRead more
Kocher is considered a pioneer in shoulder relocation. Here is Kocher's original paper, translated from German by Dr Neil Cunningham and Dr Leo Kretzenberger.Read more
The Cunningham Technique uses a combination of specific massage of the spasming biceps at mid humerus and by asking the patient to shrug their shoulders.Read more
This year Dr Neil Cunningham gave a talk at the International Conference in Emergency Medicine, held in Dublin, Ireland. The talk was successful and well received, and the powerpoint presentation and talk are available on our Videos page, or on our Youtube channel. Unfortunately, the popularity led our hosting service to believe we had a virus and they shut the Shoulder Dislocation.net website down! After several months, we are pleased to report we are back up and running on a new dedicated server, thanks to Mike Cadogan and the team at Global Medical Education Project (GMEP). Anyway, we hope you enjoy the talk and presentation and look forward to the next year full of exciting updates.
ShoulderDislocation.net has posted two new videos on our YouTube channel and Videos page. These videos are quite a bit different from the others - in that things didn't quite go as smoothly as we would have hoped. In both of these shoulder dislocations the relocation was proving to be a little difficult and might prompt abandonment of the techniques in favour of heavier sedation. The first video shows a patient with in whom the muscle spasm was unable to be overcome with simple positioning and a variety of manoeuvres. She eventually required sedation resulting an a quick reduction In the second video, the patient has a subglenoid dislocation, and the operator tries to get the patient to adduct the arm. Unfortunately this is difficult, so Neil talks the operator through a series of manoeuvres to manipulate the humerus into the correct position, including attempting Zero Position. Eventually the shoulder is relocated.
This month, Neil Cunningham talks to Scott Weingart from EM-RAP about shoulder dislocation and the various methods of achieving relocation. The podcast is available for subscribers to EM-RAP. Neil focuses particularly on non-analgesic relocation methods, analgesic positioning, and talks about the recent translation of Kocher's method.
Have you ever been at a footy or rugby match, or on a skifield and seen someone with a dislocated shoulder? Ever wondered whether it is worth trying to relocate the shoulder "in-the-field", before xrays, analgesia or transfer to a hospital? Have you thought it might be better for the patient if they got their shoulder in sooner rather than later? This month Gerard Fennessy shares his experiences on a skifield, dealing with in-the-field dislocations. He talks about sedation and analgesia in remote locations, as well as the use of non-traction/countertraction techniques to make the relocation safer for the patient.
Have you ever thought that there must be a perfect position for your patient with a dislocated shoulder? Well, usually there is (and I don't mean "relocated', although apparently that is a pretty good position!). When your patient comes in with a dislocated shoulder, there are several things you can do to give them immediate pain relief. And we are not necessarily talking about morphine or propofol! This month we look at analgesic positions for your patient - ones that provide near immediate relief of pain, before you can shout "Get a drip in!".