Clinical Features: A 30-year-old mixed martial arts athlete, with no prior shoulder injuries, presented one day following a first-time, traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation. An eight-week, individualized, intensive, nonoperative rehabilitation program was immediately begun upon presentation.
Intervention and Outcome: Management consisted of immobilization of the shoulder in external rotation and a progressive rehabilitation program aimed at restoring range of motion, strength of the dynamic stabilizers, and proprioception of the shoulder. Eight weeks post-dislocation the patient had regained full range of motion and strength compared to the unaffected limb and apprehension and relocation tests for instability were negative.
Conclusion: This case illustrates successful management of a first-time, traumatic, anterior shoulder dislocation using immobilization in external rotation combined with an intensive rehabilitation program.
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