Shoulder Dislocations

The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated of the major joints. Its great mobility unfortunately is coupled with poor stability.

A shoulder sling may sometimes be required to help provide pain relief in shoulder dislocations. The ProCare Shoulder Immobilizer is used in hospitals across Australia and the DonJoy UltraSling III is often used by our elite athletes.

Shoulder dislocations are very common in the AFL and rugby union. Matt Burke of the Wallabies and Waratahs suffered a particularly graphic dislocation scoring a try in 1998.

In the NRL, Benji Marshall of the Wests Tigers first dislocated his shoulder in the pre-season of 2005. After winning the premiership in 2005, he underwent the first of five shoulder operations by shoulder specialist, Dr Des Bokor. He dislocated the same shoulder (but in a different part of the shoulder) in Round 5 and Round 16 2006, then again in Round 8 2007. He had a 'super reconstruction' (the Bristow procedure) performed in 2008 that included a bone graft being used for additional stability. Article detailing Benji Marshall's injuries.

Shane Warne suffered a shoulder dislocation in late 2002. It is a relatively rare injury in cricket.

Sometimes the shoulder can dislocate and relocate with minimal extra damage, allowing players to return within weeks. On other occasions there is damage to other structures, such as the rotator cuff tendons, biceps tendon or axillary nerve, which increases recovery time. On occasions where conservative rehabilitation fails to restore an appropriate amount of stability a shoulder reconstruction may be required.

Click here for more information on shoulder reconstructive surgery.
Benji Marshall shoulder dislocation
Benji Marshall of the Wests Tigers escorted off field after dislocating his shoulder in Round 5 of 2006 against the North Queensland Cowboys.
(Image sourced from Channel Nine)
Hamish Hartlett shoudler dislocation
Hamish Hartlett of Port Adelaide dislocated his shoulder in Round 14 of 2011.
(Image sourced from Fox Sports)