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 Many textbooks advocate methods that have been superceded by safer alternatives.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.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.