Which maneuvers facilitate most techniques for the reduction of shoulder dislocations?

Updated: Aug 17, 2018
  • Author: Anantha K Mallia, DO, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Adequate pain control and muscle relaxation, in conjunction with smooth atraumatic technique, are the keys to a successful reduction. Slow, consistent movements by the operator prevent pain and associated muscle spasm; quick pulling or release of tension is sure to cause resistance and pain. Most techniques are facilitated by the following two maneuvers:

  • Flexion of the elbow 90° to relax the biceps tendon
  • External rotation of the humerus, which releases the superior glenohumeral ligament and presents the favorable side of the humeral head to the glenoid fossa

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