dislocated shoulders

12:20 a.m. on August 30, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have a ? for everyone here... I hike alot but I have major concerns because not only do I have osteoporosis but I also have recurrent dislocated shoulders... It is crucial that I hike for bone density factor but am very fearful of falling as I have dislocated before and was very long time before help got to me... Times like this I really wish I had strong narcotic like morphine to get me through the many hours until help can get to me. I never hike alone. The strongest narcotic I have that I can take with me is percocet... is this strong enough? How much could I take at once (safely) that would be equivalent to morphine? I really cannot hike anymore without having something strong with me just in case I fall...

1:28 p.m. on August 30, 2003 (EDT)
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This sounds like something you should be discussing with an MD, prefereably your personal physician who is very familiar with your history, rather than in a web forum with a bunch of half-informed people like me (yeah, yeah, I have WFR training, spend lots of time talking to wilderness-oriented MDs, etc, etc, but still, this really calls for professional advice and a thorough medical evaluation).

Having said that, a suggestion. It is certainly good that you never hike alone, but does your companion(s) have at least WFA training, preferably WFR (Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder), that is current? The thought on reducing a dislocation has changed a lot over the last decade, with some "easy" methods that are quite effective, much less painful, especially with people who get recurrent dislocations (still will be pretty sore for days afterward). You probably should take at least a WFA course yourself, since the reduction techniques, at least for shoulders that you say is your problem, can be self-administered, or at least you can coach a companion. The basic secret is getting the muscles to relax and easing the shoulder back into place. According to one person I know who has the same problem, acetominophen, ibuprofen, or naproxin are plenty strong enough to reduce the pain afterward, no need for narcotics and their pretty negative side effects (especially when going to hike out of the woods afterward).

I do hope your hiking companions are at least informed that you have the problem before the hike. It would be a very unpleasant surprise for something to happen with no warning and someone untrained have to try to guess how to deal with it. Actually, that's a general thing for everyone. If you have a medical problem that might be an issue on a dayhike, climb, ski, overnight, please inform your companions ahead of time. It is unpleasant, to say the least, to discover that one of the party has a bee-sting allergy, for example, after they have been stung and have no ana kit along, or, as happened to me, discover that a companion was recovering from a severe concussion received when falling off a ladder at 2 stories up and was under doctor's orders to *not* go on overnight backpack trips (we discovered this when he almost passed out, thankfully in the first couple hundred meters from the trailhead). We almost had to cancel the whole trip, but one kind soul sacrificed his trip to get the victim to the hospital.

12:06 p.m. on August 31, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

dislocation-reduction...etc

Dislocation-reduction is a wilderness first aid protocol. Years ago (1993?), SOLO taught it in their 16-hr WFA course, and I don't know if it is still true for now. However, WMA doesn't teach it in their Adv WFA (year 2002), or at least not until you upgrade or "bridge" it to the WFR course. So it is best to check out the course content if dislocation-reduction is a priority.

One can find more info if googling the key words: dislocation reduction video injury...etc". I just came across this interesting site: http://www.geocities.com/slishmansplint/index.htm

And oh... Ana-Kit is no longer in in the market. EpiPen is the only game in town.

Bye summer, hello fall...Cheers :-)

5:48 p.m. on August 31, 2003 (EDT)
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747 forum posts
Re: dislocation-reduction...etc

My brother in law is an emergency room doctor. He says that dislocations are very critical if the bone presses on the artery. You must check for a good pulse and be sure that the blood flow is not cut off to the limb while waiting for your drugs to help loosen up the muscles. I carry Hydrocodone - a generic for Vicodin - good but slow to work - maybe an hour.
Also as you know - after one dislocate - it happens more easily and the normal dislocate is from landing on an arm - this is especially dangerous as it can drive the humerous (:->) through the ligament, then your totally screwed - maybe better to learn to land rolling than to come down on the bad arm.
JIm S

October 24, 2014
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