Anterior shoulder dislocations: beyond traction-countertraction

Jacob W Ufberg, Gary M Vilke, Theodore C Chan, Richard A Harrigan
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2004, 27 (3): 301-6
The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated large joint presenting to American Emergency Departments (ED). Anterior dislocations account for the great majority of these dislocations. Most anterior shoulder dislocations can be reduced in the ED using a variety of reduction techniques. The traction-countertraction technique is quite familiar to most Emergency Physicians, however, many other effective methods of reduction have been described. No method has proven 100% successful, and occasionally multiple attempts using different techniques are required to effect reduction. This article reviews some of the other techniques used to reduce anterior shoulder dislocations, variations reported on these techniques, and their success rates, advantages, and disadvantages.

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