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‘Don’t do this’ - Two doctors react to coach’s ‘violent jerks’ on Aaron Pico’s dislocated shoulder

“This is absolutely the wrong way to try and pop in an acute shoulder dislocation.”

Aaron Pico gets his shoulder worked on by his coach during his Bellator 286 fight against Jeremy Kennedy.
Aaron Pico gets his shoulder worked on by his coach during his Bellator 286 fight against Jeremy Kennedy.
Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Freak injuries are nothing new to MMA. But what happened with Aaron Pico’s shoulder injury at Bellator 286 is something you likely won’t see regularly.

Pico dislocated his left shoulder in the first round of his fight against Jeremy Kennedy. During the round break, one of his coaches was seen trying to pop his shoulder back in place by aggressively pulling on it.

The cageside doctor later stepped in and decided against Pico fighting on. The bout was subsequently declared a TKO win for Kennedy.

Orthopedic sports surgeon David Abbasi later commented on the video that has since circulated online. While he did recognize the efforts of Pico’s corner, he didn’t agree with the method used.

“Although I give him an A for effort, this is absolutely the wrong way to try and pop in an acute shoulder dislocation. Because you want to think about it as a slow, steady type of pull instead of these violent jerks.

“A majority of shoulder dislocations are when the ball pops out of the socket to the front. Or what we call an anterior dislocation.”

Brian Sutterer, a sports medicine doctor, also chimed in.

“This was one of the wildest things I’ve seen in any sport,” Sutterer said. “I got to give Pico credit, he is mad tough. I’ve dislocated my shoulder a couple of times and this is extremely painful, so extreme credit to try to get back out there.

“But if you attempt to reduce a joint in an incorrect way, and in such a violent manner, while your intent is good, you can actually do some pretty significant harm to that individual’s joint.

“It’s important to reduce it the right way, because there’s a lot of surrounding structures — particularly nerves and blood vessels — that can become injured, not only when you dislocate a joint, but if you try to attempt reduction in an ineffective way.”

The 26-year-old Pico snapped a six-fight win streak with the loss to Kennedy, as he drops to a record of 10-4.