Reduction of the glenohumeral joint should be performed as an emergency procedure.
There are various techniques to reduce the glenohumeral joint.

  • Combined traction technique
  • Modified Stimson technique

Unless reduction is carried out very soon after dislocation, analgesia or anesthesia are typically necessary. An initial attempt with conscious sedation may succeed. If not, general anesthesia with complete muscle relaxation may be required. If closed reduction is unsuccessful, open reduction may be necessary.

Combined traction technique enlarge

Combined traction technique

The patient is placed supine on a table. The injured arm is pulled longitudinally and, with the help of a second person, laterally as well.
A sheet around the chest may be used for counter-traction.

Modified Stimson technique enlarge

Modified Stimson technique

In the modified Stimson technique the patient is placed prone with the shoulder beyond the lateral edge of the table. A weight is attached to the wrist. Over time the musculature becomes fatigue and/or relaxed so that the humeral head reduces spontaneously, or with gentle manipulation.

The reduction is confirmed by x-ray. enlarge

Confirmation of reduction

The reduction is confirmed by x-ray. One should pay special attention to obtain a true AP view in order to confirm the glenohumeral reduction. Look carefully at the greater tuberosity, and determine its degree of displacement accurately.