Hill-Sachs Lesion

A Hill-Sachs lesion is a shoulder injury that creates a dent in the back portion of the rounded top of the upper arm bone (humerus). This is the ball of the arm bone that fits into the shoulder socket. Hill-Sachs lesions only occur in forward dislocations of the shoulder.


Hill-Sachs lesions usually occur in contact sports injuries, falls, car accidents, and even occupations that require heavy lifting or pushing. The shoulder is very flexible and susceptible to injuries from overuse or forceful impact.


When a Hill-Sachs lesion occurs, the humerus bone pops out of its socket, scraping the head of the bone against the edge of the socket. Although you will not know you have a Hill-Sachs lesion, you will feel intense pain from the shoulder dislocation. Swelling, bruising, weakness, and difficulty moving the arm are also signs of injury.


If a shoulder dislocation occurs, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to stabilize the shoulder. In addition to assessing symptoms, a physician will conduct a physical exam to identify a shoulder dislocation. An MRI may be used to identify a Hill-Sachs lesion.


In mild to moderate Hill-Sachs lesions, the dislocated shoulder will be treated with rest, pain medications, and physical therapy. In severe dislocations or if the Hill-Sachs lesion is large enough to affect mobility, surgery may be required.

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