Health A-Z

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Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include:

  • Severe shoulder pain

  • Limited motion of the shoulder

  • A distortion in the contour of the shoulder — In an anterior dislocation, the side silhouette of the shoulder has an abnormal squared-off appearance instead of its typical sloping, rounded contour. In a posterior dislocation, the front of the shoulder may look abnormally flat.

  • A hard knob under the skin near the shoulder — This knob is the top of the humerus that has popped out of its socket.

  • Shoulder bruising or abrasions if an impact has caused your injury

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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