Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Do I have a separated shoulder?

Posted In: Muscle conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: jhoop1
  • March 22, 2010
  • 03:44 AM

Yesterday, I injured my right shoulder playing basketball. There was definitely no dislocation because the pain was not excruciating and I never lost control of my arm.

I'm thinking it might be a minor separated shoulder. But I'd like some other opinions (please see pictures below) before deciding if it's necessary to make an appointment to see a sports medicine specialist.

In the pictures, you can clearly see there is a bump on my right shoulder when my arms are extended. Does that indicate a Type II Separated Shoulder - http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/shouldersurgery/a/separation.htm?

If it's a Type III-VI Separated Shoulder, then I know I need to see a doctor. But Type I-II heal naturally over the course of a few weeks. I don't think it's Type IV-VI because there's not enough deformity (perhaps the bump is mostly swelling, although I don't think the size of the bump has changed since the initial injury).

Is the bump large enough for it to be a Type III Separated Shoulder?

Yesterday when the injury occurred, the pain was not too bad -- I assumed it was a stinger and played the rest of the basketball game. The pain got a little worse a few hours later, but I was able to do strength training (lower body) after the game. It only really hurt to lift my right arm over my head, especially if it tried to touch my left shoulder. Today the pain has lessened somewhat. This afternoon, I got in some exercise doing cardio on a stationary bike. I was careful not to jostle my right shoulder or put stress on it. After the workout, I did not notice any increased pain or soreness in my shoulder. If anything, the pain lessened -- perhaps some stretching loosened it up a little bit.





Shoulder Injury History:

3 years ago, I suffered a minor separated shoulder (same shoulder - right) while mountain biking. I saw a sports medicine specialist about 1 week after the injury. The doctor said the shoulder should heal by itself and I didn't really need to rest it because there wasn't an increased risk of making the injury worse. He also prescribed me Mobic for the pain (I didn't end up taking any). My shoulder was back to normal in about 2-3 weeks. That minor separated shoulder (the doc didn't specify Type) feels very similar to my current injury, maybe a little less pain this time.

2 years ago, my left shoulder gave out when lifting weights -- on the 1st rep of a warm up set (only 40% of my max weight) of dumbbell shoulder presses. My shoulder felt sore, I didn't notice any bumps or deformities. The soreness gradually went away after about 2 weeks and I did not lose any strength in the shoulder.

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