Clinical Tips

· Tips from the Field – Scapular Rotation Method of Reducing a Dislocated Shoulder

Dr. Jack Ceaser
  1. Lie the patient prone on a table or bench with the affected arm hanging off the side of the table
  2. You may prefer to have the arm slightly externally rotated
  3. Apply mild downward traction on the arm - either by slight pulling on forearm/elbow or have patient hold a 5 lb weight
  4. With your other hand, gently push the inferior tip of the scapula medially
  5. Generally you will feel/hear a 'clunk' indicating a successful reduction
With a little practice, this method can be >90% effective on first attempt, and is often less traumatic, and can be performed on your own.  Although there are many methods for reducing dislocated shoulders, in general the "best" method can be the one with which you are the most comfortable.