Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. Once a shoulder has dislocated, it is vulnerable to repeat episodes. When the shoulder is loose and slips out of place repeatedly, it is called chronic shoulder instability.
Shoulder instability can be the result of a variety of factors, including serious injury, repetitive strain, multidirectional instability, or the loosening of ligaments within the shoulder area.
If the shoulder is dislocated, it is usually very apparent. Common symptoms include:
- Pain caused by shoulder injury
- Severely restricted motion in the shoulder
- The shoulder appears to hang down and forward, with a large dimple evident under the collar bone.
- A visible bump (humeral head) on the front of the shoulder or in the armpit
OKC Orthopedics, Sports & Pain Medicine is committed to helping patients with shoulder instability return to the highest level of activity possible. Our team of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and athletic trainers work together to tailor a treatment plan to each patient’s needs and goals.
Shoulder instability is often first treated with non-surgical options. In the event that these options do not relive the pain and instability, or if ligaments are stretched or turn, surgery may be recommended. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in shoulder arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which small instruments and a thin, flexible medical device with a camera pass through an incision the size of a small Band-Aid. After surgery, our physical therapists guide each patient through a personalized rehabilitation program to restore strength and mobility.