Epidemiology of shoulder dislocations presenting to United States emergency departments: An updated ten-year study

Cole M. Patrick*, Michael D. Eckhoff, John P. Scanaliato, John C. Dunn, Josiah Snowden, Clare K. Green, Nata Parnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Glenohumeral dislocation is a common injury that may predispose patients to chronic pain and instability. However, there is a paucity of current data available regarding the epidemiological trends of this injury. AIM To provide an updated, comparative assessment of the epidemiology of shoulder dislocations presenting to emergency departments in the United States. We also sought to analyze patient demographic risk factors and consumer products associated with dislocation events. Methods Data were obtained from the national electronic injury surveillance system database for glenohumeral dislocations between 2012 and 2021. Incidence, age, sex, and injury characteristics were analyzed using weighted population statistics as well as incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results In total, an estimated 773039 shoulder dislocations (CI: 640598-905481) presented to emergency rooms across the United States during the study period. The annual incidence rate was 23.96 per 100000 persons and the average patient age at the time of injury was 37.1 years. Significantly more male patients sustained dislocations than female patients (537189, 69.5%, vs 235834, 30.5%, P < 0.001). With regard to associated consumer products, sports and recreation equipment were involved in the highest proportion of incidents (44.31%), followed by home structures and construction materials (21.22%), and home furnishings, fixtures, and accessories (21.21%). Regarding product sub-groups, stairs, ramps, landings, floors was cited in the greatest number of cases (131745). Conclusion The national annual incidence rate of glenohumeral dislocations throughout the study period was approximately 23.92 per 100000 persons. Male adolescents sustained the highest proportion of dislocations, with a peak incidence in age group 15-20 years, predominantly secondary to participation in sporting and recreational activities. Conversely, women experienced a relatively consistent incidence of dislocation throughout their lifespan. After age 63, the incidence rate of dislocations in females was found to surpass that observed in males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-697
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Orthopedics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency department
  • Epidemiology
  • Glenohumeral dislocation
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • United States
  • national electronic injury surveillance system


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