Orthopedic Treatment For Shoulder Instability

by Administrator 24. April 2017 10:56

Shoulder is a ball and socket joint made up by articulation of the three bones, clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus.  This joint is responsible for the gliding movement of the arm. Shoulder Instability refers to a condition in when these bones are unable to maintain the normal structure of the joint i.e. ball of the humerus begins to slip within the shoulder.


  • Sudden blow to the joint or overuse
  • Previous injury that may have torn the ligaments or cartilages of the joint
  • People born with congenital ligament laxity
  • Athletes involved in sports that require overstretching of the shoulder capsule like swimmers, baseball pitchers, volleyball players, etc.


  • Pain
  • Repetitive dislocations
  • Feeling like shoulder is giving out
  • Inflammation
  • Tendonitis or bursitis may develop
  • Shoulder looks deformed
  • Numbness and tingling in the arm


The doctor may begin by conducting a physical examination to check for the excessive laxity of the shoulder joint. This check will also uncover the secondary conditions that may be leading to instability in the shoulder joint.  To have a clear view of the deformity in humerus or arm bone that may occur due to unstable shoulder, the doctor may recommend an X-ray. A MRI scan may also be suggested to have a clear view of the outstretched joint capsule.

Treatment –

Non- Surgical Treatment

  • Medication – The doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce inflammation in the joint.
  • Immobilization -   To keep the arm from moving the doctor may ask the patient to wear sling for few days. This will help the arm to stay stable and heal quickly.
  • Exercises - After the joint becomes a bit stable, the doctor may ask the patient to do some stretching and strengthening exercise. This will help to restore the lost strength of muscles and ligaments.

Surgical Treatment – 

  • Depending upon the severity of the conditions the orthopedic surgeon may choose to perform one of several surgical options available.
  • The surgeon may conduct an open surgery to restore the attachment of the labrum and the ligaments of the ball and socket joint.
  • If the anterior lip of the joint’s socket has a damaged bone, grafting can be used to restore its configuration.
  • In case the socket has become too flat the orthopedic surgeon may reshape the bones. This procedure is known as Posterior glenoid osteplasty.

If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon to treat Shoulder Instability, contact Dr. Mitchell F. Fagelman. He is well-known for treating conditions like fractures, shoulder pain, elbow pain, etc. He also has expertise in treating various sports related injuries. To request an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 North Josey Lane, Carrollton, Texas 75010.

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