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Shoulder instability

Shoulder instability represents a spectrum of disorders, the successful management of which requires a correct diagnosis and treatment. The boundaries of this spectrum are represented by a subluxation event (a partial dislocation which spontaneously reduces), to a complete dislocation which often requires anesthesia to reduce the shoulder. The majority of instabilities are traumatic in nature and the ball of the shoulder is unstable toward the front of the shoulder. It is this type of shoulder instability which we will concentrate on here.
 
In order for a shoulder to dislocate, the very important and delicate balance of soft tissues (ligaments, capsule and tendons) around the shoulder become damaged. These damaged tissues often don't heal properly and the shoulder can develop recurrent dislocations and/or pain with certain types of activities.

The older a patient is at the time of initial injury the lower the chances are for developing recurrent instability. Patients under the age of 20 with traumatic dislocations have a substantially higher rate of recurrence (greater than 90%).


The information contained above is for educational purposes only.  If you have
any questions relating to this or to any other orthopedic conditions, please consult
a board-certified orthopedic surgeon.

 

If you are suffering from a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911 or go to your local hospital emergency room.

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