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Shoulder dislocation 'causes problems' for older patients

Shoulder dislocation 'causes problems' for older patients
5th October 2012

The diagnosis and treatment of shoulder dislocations differs depending on the age of the patient.

According to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the injury is more likely to be overlooked or misdiagnosed in people over the age of 40.

The NHS says the usual healing period for this injury is between 12 and 16 weeks, but lead author of the research Anand Murthi thinks making an accurate diagnosis of dislocation-related injuries is vital.

"Older patients are much more likely to experience injury to the rotator cuff, the group of tendons, ligaments and other structures that help give the shoulder its range of motion," he added.

Dr Murthi said this is because rotator cuff tissue becomes brittle and weaker over time.

Another problem is that some older patients are reluctant to opt for surgery to cure the problem, instead preferring anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections, which means the period of convalescent care may be extended.

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