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Phys Sportsmed. 2002 Dec;30(12):41-8. doi: 10.3810/psm.2002.12.580.

Shoulder dislocation in young athletes: current concepts in management.

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Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA.


A fall onto an outstretched arm or a collision on the playing field often leads to an acute anterior shoulder dislocation for high school- and college-age athletes. The diagnosis is usually made by history and physical exam. The angle of impact is an important diagnostic clue. If no neurologic contraindications or signs of acute fracture are seen, radiographs are unnecessary, and early reduction before the onset of muscle spasm is essential. Recent advances in arthroscopic techniques have dramatically reduced the high incidence of recurrent instability in young elite athletes, though nonoperative management with immobilization is still an excellent option.


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