Which is worse—shoulder subluxations or dislocations?

By Annie Hayashi

Award-winning study of more than 4,000 West Point cadets shows that shoulder subluxations may be as serious as dislocations

In a major study of more than 4,000 West Point cadets, researchers found that the incidence of shoulder subluxations was more than five times higher than that of dislocations over the course of a year. In addition, subluxations were frequently accompanied by other injuries such as Bankart lesions or capsulolabral avulsions, which are normally associated with dislocations. The findings are significant for surgeons who treat shoulder injuries, according to MAJ Brett D. Owens, MD, because “the morbidity of a traumatic subluxation event is underappreciated.”

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