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Management of acute anterior shoulder dislocation
  1. Benan Dala-Ali1,
  2. Marta Penna1,
  3. Jamie McConnell2,
  4. Ivor Vanhegan1,
  5. Carlos Cobiella1
  1. 1Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University College London Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Benan Dala-Ali, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University College London Hospital, 235 Euston Road, London NW1 2BU, UK; benan{at}


Shoulder dislocation is the most common large joint dislocation in the body. Recent advances in radiological imaging and shoulder surgery have shown the potential dangers of traditional reduction techniques such as the Kocher's and the Hippocratic methods, which are still advocated by many textbooks. Many non-specialists continue to use these techniques, unaware of their potential risks. This article reviews the clinical and radiographic presentation of dislocation; some common reduction techniques; their risks and success rate; analgesia methods to facilitate the reduction; and postreduction management. Many textbooks advocate methods that have been superceded by safer alternatives. Trainees should learn better and safer relocation methods backed up by the current evidence available.

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