Jacobs Journal of Emergency Medicine

Recurrent Shoulder Dislocation in the Elderly – what are the Potential Complications?

Published on: 2014-09-01


Shoulder dislocation is a common medical condition seen in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. It is usually a result of trauma or associated with ligamentous laxity. Its occurrence in the elderly population is less common and as the elderly usually has multiple medical co-morbidities including osteoporosis, treatment with manipulation and reduction of a shoulder dislocation in the elderly has to be attempted with extreme care due to associated complications. We report a case of an elderly Chinese lady with a history of recurrent right shoulder dislocation presenting to the local A&E department with an atraumatic right shoulder dislocation who underwent a closed reduction of the dislocated right shoulder in the A&E but unfortunately had a complication - fracture of the proximal neck of humerus. This article will discuss the complications associated with recurrent shoulder dislocation in the elderly and the appropriate management of this orthopaedic condition in the geriatric population.


Shoulder Dislocation, Elderly, Geriatrics, Osteoporosis