The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body. However, this flexibility makes the shoulder less stable and more susceptible to injury. The Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles offers a team of renowned orthopedic surgeons that specializes in the comprehensive care of shoulder injuries and chronic conditions of The ball and socket joint, including shoulder instability. If you are suffering from a shoulder injury or condition, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
What Is Shoulder Instability?
Unstable shoulders occurs when the bones of the shoulder joint aren’t in the normal position relative to one another. Ligaments, muscles and bone hold the ball and socket joint together. When the ligaments, muscles or bone become overstretched, overused or injured, the shoulder becomes unstable (chronic shoulder instability). More severe unstable shoulder stress can occur during acute injury, in which the humerus bone pops out of the ball and socket joint. Acute unstable shoulder stress due to impact trauma is also known as shoulder dislocation.
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What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Instability?
Ligament or muscle damage often accompanies acute unstable shoulder stress and causes a rapid onset of pain in The ball and socket joint. People with chronic unstable shoulder stress may experience more mild symptoms at first which can worsen over time. Symptoms of unstable shoulder stress may include:
- Pain in the shoulder
- Redness and swelling
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the arm
- Feeling that your shoulder may dislocate or pop back into place
- Squeaking or clicking noise while performing certain shoulder movements
Unstable shoulder stress is typically confirmed through physical examination and imaging. The orthopedic surgeons at the Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence may recommend X-ray imaging to diagnose displacement of the shoulder bones or an MRI scan if they suspect damage to connective tissue.
Treatment for Shoulder Instability
Chronic shoulder instability is often first treated with nonsurgical options, while acute instability may require surgery in order to repair damaged muscles and ligaments that stabilize The ball and socket joint. Conservative therapy for chronic unstable shoulder stress may include:
- Temporary activity modification
- Anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone injection
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
Surgery to repair torn or overly stretched ligaments and connective tissues can be a highly effective treatment for unstable shoulder stress. Surgical correction relieves shoulder pain or instability and restores strength to the joint to help prevent future instability.
The orthopedic surgeons at the Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence are experts in shoulder arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to repair damaged tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. During the procedure, several tiny incisions are made in The ball and socket joint, and a fiber-optic instrument called an arthroscope is inserted to give live video from within the joint. Performed on an outpatient basis, arthroscopic shoulder surgery minimizes pain and reduces recovery time.
Recovery from Shoulder Instability Surgery
After surgery, your shoulder may be immobilized temporarily with a sling. When the sling is removed, exercises to rehabilitate the ligaments will be started. These will improve the range of motion in your shoulder and prevent scarring as the ligaments heal. Exercises to strengthen your shoulder will gradually be added to your rehabilitation plan.
At the Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence, our top priority is to provide exceptional results for our patients within a comfortable environment. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in the latest minimally invasive shoulder procedures, and are trained in both the conservative management and surgical correction of unstable shoulder stress.
Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgeon
The Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence offers renowned orthopedic surgeons specializing in the comprehensive treatment of shoulder injuries and chronic shoulder joint conditions. If you have specific questions about unstable shoulder stress, or have been experiencing shoulder pain, you can contact us by calling (888) 847-0357 or fill out our online contact form and a member of our friendly staff will be in touch with you shortly.
Please read this article on shoulder instability from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Next, read about AC joint separation.