It was supposed to be a day to remember.
The home opener for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary season!
And although the Sox beat Tampa Bay 12-2, it may have come at a heavy cost.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was injured as he slid into second base and collided with Rays shortstop Reid Brignac. He left the field holding his right shoulder.
Ellsbury, who finished second in 2011 American League Most Valuable Player Award voting, was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where an MRI showed a shoulder subluxation. He is expected to be out anywhere from two to six weeks with the injury.
You can see a video of the injury here.
A shoulder subluxation or instability involves a temporary, partial dislocation of the shoulder joint.
It is easily injured because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the socket that holds it (sort of like a golf ball on a tee). To remain stable, it must be anchored by its muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
The shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body. It can become dislocated when either:
The shoulder can dislocate either forward, backward, or downward. When the shoulder dislocates, the arm appears out of position.
Other symptoms include pain, which may be worsened by muscle spasms, swelling, numbness, weakness, and bruising.
Doctors usually diagnose a dislocation by a physical examination; x rays may be taken to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out a related fracture.
A dislocation is treated by putting the ball of the humerus back into the joint socket, a procedure called a reduction. The arm is then stabilized for several weeks in a sling or a device called a shoulder immobilizer.
After pain and swelling have been controlled, the patient enters a rehabilitation program that includes exercises. The goal is to restore the range of motion of the shoulder, strengthen the muscles, and prevent future dislocations.
After treatment and recovery, a previously dislocated shoulder may remain more susceptible to re-injury, especially in young, active individuals. Ligaments may have been stretched or torn, and the shoulder may tend to dislocate again. A shoulder that dislocates severely or often, injuring surrounding tissues or nerves, usually requires surgical repair to tighten stretched ligaments or reattach torn ones.
Shoulder dislocation is often confused with shoulder separation, but these are two very different injuries!
A shoulder dislocation occurs when there is an injury to the joint between the humerus and scapula. A shoulder separation occurs when there is an injury to the joint between the scapula and clavicle–this is called an acromioclavicular (or A-C) separation.
For more information about shoulder injuries, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.