The shoulder is the most moveable joint in your body. It helps you to lift your arm, to rotate it, and to reach up over your head. It is able to turn in many directions. This greater range of motion, however, can cause instability. Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. This can happen as a result of a sudden injury or from overuse. Once a shoulder has dislocated, it is vulnerable to repeat episodes. When the shoulder is loose and slips out of place repeatedly, it is called chronic shoulder instability.
Chronic shoulder instability is often first treated with nonsurgical options. If these options do not relieve the pain and instability, surgery may be needed.
Your doctor will develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. It often takes several months of nonsurgical treatment before you can tell how well it is working.
Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling.
Strengthening shoulder muscles and working on shoulder control can increase stability. Your therapist will design a home exercise program for your shoulder.
Surgery is often necessary to repair torn or stretched ligaments so that they are better able to hold the shoulder joint in place.
Soft tissues in the shoulder can be repaired using tiny instruments and small incisions. This is a same-day or outpatient procedure. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon will look inside the shoulder with a tiny camera and perform the surgery with special pencil-thin instruments.