How is the Spaso technique performed for the reduction of shoulder dislocation?

Updated: Aug 17, 2018
  • Author: Anantha K Mallia, DO, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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With the patient supine on a stretcher, the physician grasps the affected arm around the wrist or distal forearm and lifts it vertically to the ceiling, applying upward traction and gentle external rotation (see the video below). If the patient experiences pain, the physician should stop and wait until the muscles relax; this may take several minutes. Once the muscles have relaxed, the physician may continue gently. If an audible or palpable clunk is not heard, direct pressure should be applied to the humeral head with the other hand. [7, 39, 45]

Reduction of shoulder dislocation: Spaso technique.

An alternative to the standard Spaso technique is the Waldron variation. In this approach, while the elbow is maintained in a flexed position, the physician firmly hold the epicondyles and applies vertical traction on the humerus while moving the forearm through an arc extending from 10° of external rotation to 10° of internal rotation.

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