How Long Will I Be Out After a Separated Shoulder?

Dr. Michael Michlitsch of Muir Orthopaedic Specialists explains how much time is needed for a separated shoulder to heal.

Question: How long does it take for me to return after a separated shoulder?

Answer: Once you are comfortable and have regained appropriate range of motion and strength, consideration may be given to return to your sport. However, an injury occurring with typical anterior shoulder dislocation causes stretching and tearing of ligaments and labrum to the front of the shoulder. This injury does not heal with the usual tightness causing recurrent instability or dislocation in a tiny percent of young athletes. The rate of re-dislocation in the general population is a little less than 50 percent. Many athletes will attempt to rest and rehab the shoulder in an attempt to return weeks later, in the same season, without surgery playing with the risk of re-dislocation. Consideration is then given to shoulder surgery at the end of the season.

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