dislocation of the shoulder

Last reviewed 02/2021

This is a common injury.

Usually the shoulder dislocates anteriorly. This is generally caused by a fall on the hand.

Posterior dislocations are often missed. This injury is not a complete dislocation but a fracture-subluxation. In contrast to the anterior dislocation this injury is generally caused by forced internal rotation of the abducted arm or by a direct blow on the front of the shoulder.

95% of shoulder dislocations are anterior (1).


  • 1. Cutts S Prempeh P Drew S Anterior Shoulder Dislocation Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 January; 91(1): 2-7.