Anterior shoulder dislocation reduction technique—revisited

C A Zahiri, H Zahiri, F Tehrany
Orthopedics 1997, 20 (6): 515-21
Acute anterior shoulder dislocations are extremely painful conditions that force patients to present to emergency rooms or physicians' offices immediately. The diagnosis usually is established through a careful history and examination, and may be confirmed by appropriate radiography. The immediate treatment objective is to achieve reduction as early as possible, preferably through a closed reduction method with the least discomfort. Current methods of reduction are based on either traction or leverage maneuvers, with each having its own merits and disadvantages. This article, however, revisits the subject by a comprehensive literature review. It addresses obstacles to reduction and reports a closed reduction technique for the acute anterior dislocations of the shoulder that uses both traction and leverage maneuvers simultaneously. In addition, the technique eliminates failing factors of current reduction methods such as the surgeons' weakening or slippery grip when using traction methods. It is expected, by virtue of the method, that it would reduce the chances for complications such as humeral shaft fractures as can occur in leverage maneuvers. This method addresses all potential anatomical and pathological features of acute anterior dislocations of the shoulder to facilitate an earlier and more comfortable reduction.

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