Dislocated shoulder 3 months before training? Advice please.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by ash_p, May 10, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi,

    I'm asking this for a friend (yes a friend, not asking for myself and trying to cover it up..!!)
    Anyway, my mate is starting Phase 1 at the same time as me (August) but the other week he dislocated his shoulder playing cricket. He popped it back in quickly and the osteopath said that it was good that he had done this to avoid further damage. He said the ligament damage wasn't particularly bad and that, given proper rest and recovery, it should be good again in a few weeks. However, he re-dislocated the shoulder the other day as he hadn't rested it properly and had carried on at work.

    My question is, what should he do? It's 3 months until phase 1 which should be plenty of time to heal up, but what is correct protocol for this situation? Should he have a proper check up? I'd imagine this would be risky as it would go down on his records... But at the same time it is something that needs to be sorted.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. He wont get through training with a F**ked up shoulder, get it sorted
  3. His osteopath is a family friend, should he give him a visit or go see the doctors? Wants to get it sorted but avoid being deferred for a silly amount of time.
  4. Its better to be deferred, than do more damage while in training and ending up being crippled
  5. You didn't say exactly what caused the second dislocation, but if it he is dislocating his shoulder playing cricket and carrying out his job (is he a office boy or a lion wrestler?) then the joint isn't stable enough to survive basic training. If he does dislocate it in basic training, the damage could well be very severe and painful - imagine it popping out while he's hanging from the monkey bars.

    The osteopath will have carried out a full range of shoulder tests which give an accurate indication of what part of the shoulder is not working properly (hugely complex joint). Now your mate has damaged it again he might want to have another visit as the dysfunctional tissues will be even more obvious and probably more damaged.

    The bottom line. A) He has an unstable shoulder. B) He needs to have it repaired (either naturally with rest or with intervention). C) It won't survive basic training.
  6. True. Best thing woould be to get it checked out asap I'd imagine, see if there's a chance of it beig fully healed by phase 1.
  7. Osteopaths are much better at diagnosing mechanical/musculo-skeletal injuries than doctors. It simply isn't covered in the same depth on medical degrees. Obviously, specialists are a very different bunch but it will take some time to be referred to a orthopaedic consultant.

    The osteopath can carry out a thorough examination of your mate and write to his GP with his findings if he feels the need.
  8. Well the 2nd dislocation wasn't a result of work. He's a pint puller in a pub, but regardless, it wasn't in a sling and wasn't getting the chance to heal properly. Oddly enough the re-dislocation happened when he shut his car door, which is probably a fair indication that it is fairly damaged. However he says that it isn't particularly painful. Does he stand a chance of it being healed by basic or should he go all the way with docs checkups and risk being deferred?
  9. Mate, I'm ex-Army, now half way through my osteopath training. I know what happens in Basic Training and know what happens in shoulders!

    I couldn't say without seeing him but from what you've said the joint won't be stable in three months. He's already seen an osteopath so go back to see him again.
  10. Just out of interest, what's the usual time, more or less, for a shoulder to fully repair itself naturally?
    Thanks for the advice though. Better to be safe than (really) sorry in this sort of situation.
  11. That's a really common question but it's too hard to give an answer.

    It's very likely that he has stretched the ligaments and muscles in his shoulder. The changes (repair) to ligaments generally occur more slowly than repair of muscle (and bone), because ligaments have less blood supply.

    If you imagine a piece of bike inner tube. You can stretch it time and time again and it will always look the same when you've finished. However, if you really stretch it hard and deform it (just before it snaps) it will always be deformed and longer than when you started. Ligaments that have been stretched like this will return to something like their original length after time, but they won't be perfect. That's why a shoulder that has been dislocated once becomes more likely to dislocate again and again.

    So the obvious answer would be to immobilise the shoulder, but the immobilisation of joint for a long period of time leads to significant changes in joint structure and function, including decreased range of motion for the joint.

    He needs a balance between immobilising the joint to allow the ligaments to recover and building muscular strength in the joint to build stability.

    So I don't know. :?
  12. Thanks, great answer. He is quite muscular around his shoulders which according to his osteopath worked in his favour? I'll forward this on to him though, sure it'll clear a lot up about the course of action he needs to take.
  13. My bold above.

    I disclocated mine on a fam visit at Arbourfield coming up on 20 years ago, had it fixed at the military hospital at Aldershot (big delay, seemed like there was a battalion of paras in for leg injuries from a night drop queued up in front of me) and promptly dislocated it again 2 months later (on the monkey bars :evil: ) on an O-type course with the Scottish Division at Glencorse.

    Tell your friend to get if fixed and take the deferral, the shoulder can take a long time to heal.

    Surgery now is much better than it was 20 years ago, and it won't ruin his long term chances/career if he doesn't do something stupid and end up crippled now.
  14. Thanks for the tip, definitely sounds like something not to be taken lightly.