Shoulder Instability

What is Shoulder Instability?

Your shoulder joint is composed of the humerus and the glenoid fossa. This joint is like a ball-and-socket joint. The glenoid holds the end of the humerus. The humerus can be dislocated partly because the glenoid is shallow. If instability has already compromised the shoulder joint, a dislocation is more likely.

Shoulder instability can be categorized into two types. They are:

  1. Shoulder Subluxation: In this case, the shoulder gets dislocated partially. Part of it gets out of the socket.
  2. Shoulder Dislocation: In this case, the humerus gets separated from the glenoid. If it is a complete dislocation, the labrum can be torn. Chronic shoulder instability can be a result of a shoulder dislocation.

Causes and Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

Common Causes:

  • A car accident
  • A blunt trauma
  • Falling
  • Sports injury

Common symptoms:

  • Intense pain in shoulder joint
  • Feelings of instability
  • Numbness in arm
  • Change in the appearance of the shoulder

Treatments for This Condition

The good news is, there are effective treatments. You can receive treatments for all types of shoulder instability in Atlanta. If the case is not severe, you may receive non-surgical treatments. In a more complicated case, you will receive surgical treatments.

Non-surgical Treatments:

  • Shoulder immobilization and stabilization
  • Rest
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medication

Surgical Treatment: Shoulder Labral Repair

It is basically a rim of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint rim. The labrum provides stability by deepening the socket of the shoulder.

Labral injury can occur due to multiple issues. It is mostly an overuse or dislocation injury. Some sports, such as overhead throwing, can cause this injury.

If you are thinking of receiving surgical treatment in Atlanta for shoulder instability, you may want to know how the labrum is repaired. Arthroscopy is used to repair a labrum. A small camera is used to visualize the joint. Three small portals are made to repair it.  The surgeon detaches a part of the labrum from the bone. Then, she uses sutures to reattach it. Small anchors are used to reinforce it.

It is an ambulatory surgery. That means, it can be performed in a single day in Atlanta. You can go home just after surgery.

Postoperative infection and nerve damage are two possible complications, as with any surgery. There are also specific risks such as postoperative stiffness and re-tear.

As long as you are taking pain medication, you must avoid driving.

Most patients require about 5 months of rehabilitation before they return to normal activities. You can shorten your recovery period by following your exercise program and focusing on physical therapy.

As we have mentioned, you can receive safe treatments for shoulder instability. After your surgery, you should not run for at least the first 3 months. Running can be bad for a weak shoulder joint. It can hamper the healing process. Two weeks after your surgery, you may be allowed to ride a bike. You can use an elliptical machine, but make sure you do it without arm motions. Depending on your progress, you may be able to return to sports in 5-6 months.

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