A rare consequence after shoulder dislocation in a professional cyclist: A case report

Claudio Ceccarelli, Fabrizio Brindisino, Mattia Salomon, John Duane Heick, Filippo Maselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Cycling is a popular source of recreation and physical activity for children and adults. With regard to the total number of sports injuries, cycling has the highest absolute number of injuries per year in the United States population. Cycling injuries can be classified into bicycle contact, traumatic, or overuse injuries. Aim of this study: The aims of this case report are to report a rare clinical complication of glenohumeral joint anterior dislocation that resulted in a patient experiencing continuous GHJ dislocations secondary to involuntary violent muscular spasms and emphasize the role of the physical therapist’s differential diagnosis and clinical decision-making process in a patient following direct access referral. Case presentation: A professional 23-year-old cyclist presented to a physical therapist with spontaneous multidirectional dislocations to the right shoulder after the recurrence of trauma occurred during a recent cycling race. The dislocations do not occur at night, but occur during the day, randomly, and mostly associated with changes in the patient’s psychological conditions. Directly from the clinical history, the physical therapist identified a neuro-physiological orange flag as well as an orthopedic red flag and, therefore, decided it was appropriate to refer the patient to a neurologist. It was determined by the physical therapist to be a priority to focus on the patient’s neurologic status and then to evaluate the orthopedic problem. The neurological examination revealed a condition of spontaneous multidirectional dislocation associated with recurrent antero-posterior pain spasms of the shoulder joint. The neurologist prescribed medication. Following the second cycle of medication assumption, the patient was able to continue physiotherapy treatment and was referred to the orthopedic specialist to proceed with shoulder stabilization surgery. Discussion and conclusion: Currently, the diagnosis of this unusual clinical condition is still unclear. It is a shared opinion of the authors that the trauma during the past bicycle race awakened an underlying psychological problem of the patient that resulted in a clinical condition of weakness of all the structures of the shoulder, such that these spasms could result in multiple multidirectional dislocations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number529
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Cycling
  • Dystonia
  • Physical therapist’s differential diagnosis
  • Referral
  • Shoulder dislocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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