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.

dislocated shoulder

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.

Shoulder & Knee Surgery Perth

Contact us today to make an appointment with Dr Colvin.

How does a dislocated shoulder occur?

Shoulder dislocations occur in two situations.

  1. A traumatic dislocation occurs with high force from a fall or sporting injury. This usually causes a labral tear.
  2. 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's where the ball slips partially out of the socket but is not a complete shoulder dislocation.
dislocated shoulder

How do I know if I have dislocated my shoulder?

It is fair to say that you will usually know if you have a dislocated shoulder, as it is very painful. Due to the force of the dislocation, you may sustain a labral tear or rotator cuff tear.

Shoulder subluxation is not as dramatic but can be equally disabling.

What kind of treatment is required for a dislocated shoulder?

An X-ray is required to confirm the dislocation is back in place. It will also rule out injuries such as a Hill Sach’s fracture to the ball of the shoulder and a Bankart fracture to the socket. To diagnose a labral tear an MRI scan is often required.

Initial treatment may be with physiotherapy, but a review by an orthopaedic surgeon is strongly recommended. To book your appointment please call Dr Colvin in Perth on 08 9489 8788.

In some cases, Dr Colvin will recommend surgery to prevent future dislocations, even after only one dislocation. This is especially the case if you are young, have a high demand job or doing contact sports.

CO.RE Exercises

dislocated shoulder

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.

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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.

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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside your shoulder joint. They use a small camera or arthroscope, and surgical instruments to examine and repair the tissues in and around the shoulder.
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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.
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Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5.00pm AWST

Consulting Rooms

Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic Suite 213,
25 McCourt Street,
Subiaco WA 6008 (Perth)

  • 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
Salvado Road,
Subiaco WA 6008 (Perth)