Dislocated Shoulder

“The shoulder that pops out” or “The popping shoulder”

Perth shoulder surgeon | Orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Colvin - shoulder and knee surgery

Dislocated Shoulder

Dislocated Shoulder surgery perth

About a dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder is a common injury. Your shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in your body and allows the arm to move in many directions during everyday life. Due to this incredible flexibility, your shoulder joint is at risk of becoming unstable.

Dr. David Colvin, trained in orthopaedic surgery in Perth. David's specialty is knee and shoulder surgery and sports injuries.

About Dr Colvin

What is a dislocated shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the ball of the shoulder joint is forced out of its socket. This dislocation may tear the shoulder capsule, known as a labral tear.

The shoulder can dislocate both forwards and backwards. Generally speaking, most shoulder dislocations are anterior dislocations. This means that the ball is forced out the front of the socket.

How does a dislocated shoulder occur?

Shoulder dislocations occur in two situations.

  • A traumatic dislocation occurs with high force from a fall or sporting injury. This usually causes a labral tear.

  • Some patients experience shoulder dislocation with minimal force. That's because their joints are very loose. They may experience shoulder dislocation or shoulder subluxation. That is where the ball slips partially out of the socket but is not a complete shoulder dislocation

CO.RE Exercises

dislocated shoulder | Shoulder surgeon perth

In the field of shoulder and knee reconstruction, successful outcomes from an operation are 50% surgery and 50% rehabilitation. You could say the surgery is the easy bit, the rehabilitation is all hard slog. Dr Colvin’s CO.RE exercise programs are just that, a core plan for your successful recovery.

Choose your program

What is the treatment for a dislocated shoulder?

In some cases a dislocated shoulder will pop back into the joint spontaneously. You may feel it go back in with a 'clunk'.

If the shoulder remains dislocated then it is put back into place in the hospital emergency department with sedation and manipulation. Once it is back in place x-rays are taken to confirm that the shoulder dislocation has been reduced. X-rays may reveal a fracture at the ball of the shoulder (Hill Sach's fracture) or an injury to the front of the socket (Bankart fracture).

Tearing of the shoulder capsule (labral tear) is diagnosed with an MRI scan.

Is surgery required for a dislocated shoulder?

Surgery is not always recommended after your first shoulder dislocation. However, if it comes out a second time then it will almost certainly be an ongoing problem and we would usually recommend surgery in that situation.

The unusual thing about shoulder dislocation is that the younger you are, the more likely it is to keep dislocating. For that reason, in young patients who are involved in contact sports or have a high demand job we may consider surgery even after one dislocation.

Surgery for a dislocated shoulder is either arthroscopic labral repair or open stabilisation called a Latarjet procedure.

After any shoulder dislocation review by an orthopaedic surgeon is strongly recommended. To book your appointment please call Perth shoulder surgeon Dr Colvin on 08 9489 8788.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Stabilisation

Arthroscopic Shoulder Stabilisation is a minimally invasive operation. It allows Dr Colvin to correct instability of the shoulder joint. The procedure is also called arthroscopic labral repair and is performed to stop the ball of the shoulder joint from coming out of its socket. It’s performed as keyhole surgery to treat shoulder dislocation.

arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation

Latarjet Procedure

The Latarjet procedure is a brilliant improvement on an operation that has been around for half a century. It is an operation to stabilise your shoulder and prevent shoulder dislocation. It involves taking a bone graft from the front of the shoulder blade and attaching it to the front of your shoulder joint socket.
latarjet procedure shoulder instability

Shoulder dislocation in detail

The shoulder can be overtly unstable and dislocate as a single episode or repeatedly. Less obvious is shoulder subluxation where the ball is loose within the socket but does not actually dislocate.
shoulder dislocation in detail

Send us an email

Fields marked with * are required

Get in touch with us!


(08) 9489 8788

(08) 9489 8787

Connect on Linkedin


Suite 213/25 McCourt St,
Subiaco WA 6008


Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5.00pm AWST

Consulting Rooms

Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic

  • These rooms are part of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.
  • Parking is available on site.


Dr David Colvin operates at:
St John of God Subiaco Hospital
12 Salvado Rd,
Subiaco WA 6008