Dislocated Shoulder: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 2/19/2020

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone (humerus) pops out of the socket in the shoulder blade. The shoulder joint is prone to dislocation because of its large range of mobility.

Signs and symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include

  • shoulder pain that may be intense,
  • limited shoulder joint mobility or inability to move the joint,
  • physical deformity of the shoulder, or
  • an appearance of the shoulder being out of place.

Other associated signs and symptoms can include

People may also feel numbness and tingling in the neck or arm.

Cause of a dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder occurs as a result of an injury such as a fall or blow or a sports injury.

Other dislocated shoulder symptoms and signs

  • An Appearance of the Shoulder Being Out of Place
  • Arm Numbness
  • Arm Swelling
  • Bruising of the Arm
  • Limited Shoulder Joint Mobility or Inability to Move the Joint
  • Numbness and Tingling in the Neck or Arm
  • Physical Deformity of the Shoulder
  • Shoulder Pain That May Be Intense
  • Weakness of the Arm


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.