Are You a Candidate for Shoulder Instability Surgery?

You’ve had a traumatic shoulder injury, maybe from getting tackled while playing football.  Perhaps you lost your balance while taking a walk and fell hard on the sidewalk. If you felt your shoulder come loose from its socket, you might have a shoulder instability problem. 

Shoulder instability isn’t always the result of trauma, however. In a number of sports — baseball, softball, tennis, and volleyball, to name a few — where you use overhead motions repeatedly, you’re more prone to shoulder instability as an overuse injury

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, P.A. treat many cases of shoulder instability and other orthopedic injuries and conditions. Members of our award-winning team have consistently been voted “top doctor” and “top surgeon.” 

Your shoulder joint has the distinction of being the most moveable joint in your body. Think about how many ways you can use it. 

You can lift your arms straight up, to the side, or backward, thanks to your shoulder joint. You can rotate your arms and turn them in a number of directions. Because of this greater range of motion, however, your shoulder is more susceptible to dislocation than other joints. 

The following are shoulder injuries that result in instability. Your physician determines the degree of instability and the proper treatment for it through a variety of tests.  

Shoulder dislocation 

The large bone that goes from your shoulder to your elbow is called the humerus. Its “head” lies in your shoulder socket. When the head slips out of the socket through sudden force or overuse, you’ve dislocated your shoulder, causing instability. 

You can have a partial dislocation when your shoulder slides part of the way in and out of the socket; this is also called subluxation. You have bruising, swelling, and pain with these injuries. 

Tear in shoulder labrum 

Tough cartilage that is attached to your shoulder socket helps to keep the “ball” of your shoulder, which is the head of your humerus bone, in the socket. 

This cartilage, called the labrum, can tear as a result of the aging process, or from overuse or trauma to the joint. The tear can cause shoulder instability

Genetics

Some peoples’ joints are naturally looser, which makes them more prone to shoulder instability injuries. The shoulder joints can be so lax that people can dislocate the joint intentionally.

Treatment 

If you’re in significant pain, your physician may prescribe a pain reliever instead of telling you to rely on over-the-counter medications. You can use ice on and off for several days to calm the swelling. 

Your doctor might also have you wear a sling or a brace to prevent further injury from moving the shoulder too much. 

Once your inflammation has subsided, you can begin physical therapy, such as gentle range-of-motion exercises. You follow up with strengthening exercises as your condition improves. 

If your shoulder is dislocated, you may also have ligament and labral tears. The ligaments help keep the joint in place and attach to the labrum at several points. 

Even if your shoulder is moved back into place after a dislocation, your ligaments and labrum can still be stretched and remain loose. You’re at increased risk of additional partial or full dislocations.  

If the shoulder is still loose after physical therapy, your doctor is likely to recommend surgery, but it depends on your age, physical exercise and movement needs, and the condition of your shoulder

If you’re an older adult and your shoulder doesn’t hurt, you and your doctor may decide you don’t need surgery right now. You may be able to manage after physical therapy. However, if you’re an active athlete and want to get back in the game, your shoulder requires surgery. 

Call our Toms River, New Jersey, office at 732-242-7827 today or book an appointment online at any time. You can also send a message to our team at The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, P.A. here on our website for a shoulder injury or any of your orthopedic needs. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Help Your Child Prevent an ACL Injury

You enjoy watching your young athlete participate in team sports. But you’ve also seen children and teens sustain season-ending injuries. Learn how you can help your child prevent an all-too-common ACL injury in a knee.

5 Ways to Manage Back Pain in the Office

If your job entails long hours at your computer, you’re at added risk for back pain. Learn what adjustments you can make to keep your back from hurting, or to stop the pain before it becomes a chronic condition.

Improve Your Performance Through Sports Medicine

The growing field of sports medicine can help you improve your performance in the gym or on the field, and prevent injuries at the same time. If you play sports, you can benefit from seeing a sports medicine physician.

Here's How Stem Cell Therapy Can Treat Your ACL Issues

An ACL injury in the knee is common in people who play sports like basketball, soccer, and tennis. Depending on the severity of your issue, stem cell therapy can be used to treat your ACL. Read on to learn more about this promising therapy.

Top Signs You May Have a Nerve Injury

Have you noticed a gradual onset of numbness in a foot or hand? Or perhaps you feel a sharp, stabbing sensation sometimes. It’s been happening more often. You may have nerve damage, which requires special medical treatment.