The Cunningham Technique for Shoulder Reduction

24 Aug
The patient is seated against a hard-back chair. The operator kneels on the floor in front of the patient, with one hand on the patient’s wrist. The patient’s hand is on the operator’s shoulder.

The patient’s humerus is gently moved into full adduction. The patient is asked to shrug the shoulders superiorly and posteriorly. The operator massages the biceps at the mid-humeral level.

The shoulder reduces without traction after a few minutes.

The data are limited to a preliminary report of five cases of successful reduction. Otherwise anecdotal reports predominate.


Submitted by M. Smith

References: Cunningham, NJ. Techniques for reduction of anteroinferior shoulder dislocation Emergency Medicine Australasia. Volume 17, Issue 5-6, October 2005, Pages: 463–471.; Cunningham NJ. A new drug free technique for reducing anterior shoulder dislocations. Emerg Med (Fremantle). 2003 Oct-Dec;15(5-6):521-4.; Academic Life in Emergency Medicine. http://academiclifeinem.blogspot.com/2011/06/trick-of-trade-cunningham-maneuver-for.htm; video
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