Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2023. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Sep 18, 2023; 14(9): 690-697
Published online Sep 18, 2023. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v14.i9.690
Epidemiology of shoulder dislocations presenting to United States emergency departments: An updated ten-year study
Cole M Patrick, Josiah Snowden, Michael D Eckhoff, Clare K Green, John P Scanaliato, John C Dunn, Nata Parnes
Cole M Patrick, Michael D Eckhoff, John P Scanaliato, John C Dunn, Department of Orthopaedics, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, TX 79918, United States
Josiah Snowden, Burnett School of Medicine, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129, United States
Clare K Green, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, WA 20052, United States
Nata Parnes, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage, NY 13619, United States
Author contributions: Patrick CM performed the majority of the research, collected data, analyzed data, and contributed to the manuscript; Snowden J and Eckhoff MD contributed equally to this work by performing research, and contributing to the manuscript and background research; Green CK and Scanaliato JP oversaw manuscript revisions and project design; Dunn JC and Parnes N designed the research study, coordinated the research team, and oversaw final manuscript revisions; All authors have read and approve the final manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: All data used in the following manuscript are deidentified and available online through the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Informed consent statement: As the study used anonymous and pre-existing data, the requirement for the informed consent from patients was waived.
Conflict-of-interest statement: We have no financial relationships to disclose.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Cole M Patrick, MD, Doctor, Department of Orthopaedics, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, No. 18511 Highlander Medics St, Fort Bliss, TX 79918, United States.
Received: May 19, 2023
Peer-review started: May 19, 2023
First decision: June 21, 2023
Revised: July 5, 2023
Accepted: August 15, 2023
Article in press: August 15, 2023
Published online: September 18, 2023

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.


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.


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).


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).


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.

Keywords: Shoulder dislocation, Epidemiology, United States, Emergency department, Glenohumeral dislocation, national electronic injury surveillance system

Core Tip: Shoulder dislocations occur in a bimodal distribution and are commonly seen in young men and older women. The national incidence of shoulder dislocations presenting to United States emergency departments has remained relatively stable compared to previous epidemiologic studies. Among young patients sustaining shoulder dislocations, sporting and recreational activities are the most involved activities.