What causes glenohumeral subluxation in hemiplegia?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Robert Gould, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Glenohumeral subluxation basically is defined as a partial or incomplete dislocation that usually stems from changes in the mechanical integrity of the joint. Subluxation is a common problem in patients with hemiplegia, especially during the flaccid stage, and often occurs within 3 weeks poststroke.

Subluxation appears to be caused by the weight of the flaccid arm applying direct mechanical stretch to the joint capsule as well as traction to unsupportive muscles of the shoulder. Teasell suggested that other factors contributing to subluxation include improper positioning, lack of support in the upright position, and pulling on the hemiplegic arm when transferring the patient. [4]


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