What is shoulder instability?
– As a ball and socket joint, the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but for every advantage this joint gives us in mobility, it loses in stability.
– Any disturbance to the normal anatomy of the shoulder structure can cause shoulder instability which increases risk of dislocation.
– Previous dislocations can make a shoulder feel unstable.
– Athletes are also highly prone to this injury (particularly in sports like baseball, swimming and volleyball).
– People who are double jointed are more likely to have this condition, due to looseness in the joint.
What are the symptoms of shoulder instability?
– Pain caused by shoulder injury
– The shoulder joint feeling “loose” as if the ball is falling out of the socket
– Repeated shoulder dislocations
– Repeated instances of the shoulder giving out
What if shoulder instability becomes “chronic”?
Once a shoulder has been injured by dislocation, it is highly vulnerable to repeat episodes. When a shoulder has dislocated multiple times it becomes loose as the ligaments are stretched and may dislocate spontaneously.
What is the treatment for shoulder instability?
– The good news is that this condition can frequently be treated with an Arthroscopy – a minimally invasive day procedure.
– Surgical stabilisation (via arthroscopy) involves repairing the torn ligaments.
– As it is usually a day surgical procedure – today it is considered a significantly more minor procedure than it used to be.
– The recovery however still often requires a sling for 6 weeks to protect the repair until it heals.