Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


My teenage son separated his shoulder in a football game. The doctor has advised surgery. The doctor explained that my son could get better on his own without surgery, but there is no way to decide this ahead of time. What could happen if my son doesn't have surgery?


About 80 percent of people who separate their shoulders but do not completely dislocate the joint regain pain-free motion and strength by the end of a year. For the remaining 20 percent, there may be pain, stiffness, and weakness when lifting overhead. Results may be different for young athletes.

As your doctor has said, it's impossible to know who will do well without surgery. It is also unknown how often shoulders without surgery have a second (usually worse) separation. For a young athlete interested in getting back into the game, surgery may be the best option. Follow your doctor's advice on this.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter