Epidemiology of Shoulder Dislocations Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States, 2007–2020

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International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training


Context: Shoulder dislocations are the most commonly treated joint dislocation in the emergency department. Zacchilli and Owens previously reported on the epidemiology of shoulder dislocations presenting to the emergency department in the United States from 2002 to 2006. At the time of data collection and analysis, no epidemiological report had been published to update these findings. Purpose: The purpose of our study was to provide an updated epidemiological report from 2007 to 2020. Results: A total of 26,203 shoulder dislocations were recorded in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database from 2007 to 2020. The highest rates occurred in males (71.4%, n = 18,722) and patients aged 20–29 years old (28.2%, n = 7,292). The most common mechanism of injury was sports involvement (48.6%, n = 12,735). Interpretation: Our findings suggest that rates of shoulder dislocations have remained consistent with previous research on this topic, indicating no significant changes over the past 19 years. More effective prevention strategies are needed, especially for at-risk populations.

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