Orthopedic Surgeon near Seattle, WA
Shoulder

Shoulder Joint Instability

What Are the Signs of a Dislocated Shoulder?

shoulder-instabilityThe shoulder joint is the most movable joint in the body. It is at high risk for instability and as a result, is the most commonly dislocated joint in the body. Shoulder instability can occur after a traumatic injury, or it can occur spontaneously in some patients who are loose jointed. The shoulder can completely dislocate and become stuck, requiring relocation, or it can partially dislocate, called subluxation. After a traumatic dislocation of the shoulder, the younger the age of the patient at the time of the first dislocation, the higher the chance of developing recurrent instability. Repeated dislocations can become painful and quite disabling over time.

Shoulder instability can be due to tearing of the labrum, the circle of cartilage tissue surrounding the shoulder socket, or from the loosening of the capsule and ligaments that hold the shoulder joint in place.

Treatment for Shoulder Dislocation near Seattle

Physical therapy is typically recommended first to treat shoulder instability. This helps strengthen the shoulder muscles and surrounding muscles to prevent further dislocations. If physical therapy is unsuccessful, you may require surgery to stabilize the shoulder. In most patients, Dr. Fuchs will use minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to successfully stabilize the shoulder. This type of surgery can lead to faster recovery times and restoration of the shoulder, compared to open surgery to stabilize the joint.

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