You might get a separated shoulder or a dislocated shoulder by:
  • Falling onto your shoulder, especially on a hard surface
  • Being hit in the shoulder
  • Trying to break a fall with your hand

Dislocated shoulders can also result from a sharp twisting of the arm.

Sports that pose a higher risk of these two injuries are:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Rock climbing
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Skiing
  • Volleyball
Symptoms of a separated shoulder are:
  • Intense pain as soon as the injury occurs
  • Tenderness of the shoulder and collarbone
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformed shoulder

To diagnose a separated shoulder or dislocated shoulder, your doctor will give you a thorough exam. You may need X-rays to rule out broken bones and other conditions.