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Usually a history of a direct blow on the front of the shoulder, or forced internal rotation of the abducted arm.

On examination, the shoulder has an abnormal contour, with a bulge posteriorly. Invariably the shoulder is locked in full internal rotation - virtually pathognomonic for this condition.

Radiography shows the characteristic lightbulb sign on AP view; an axillary lateral view is needed to actually view the dislocation.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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