Everything You Need to Know About Shoulder Instability

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Shoulder Instability is the condition characterized by the movement of upper arm bone out of its place.

Shoulder Instability is the condition characterized by the movement of upper arm bone out of its place. There could be several causes of the condition while the commonest being trauma. 

Our shoulder joint is a type of ball and socket joint that allows a wide range of motion. Numerous arm movements involve the shoulder joint and it is one of the most used joints in athletes. Along with the bones, other structures like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons provide the stability to shoulder joint while ensuring a full range of motion. When it comes to shoulder instability, the connective tissues holding the bones together allow the upper arm bone to slip. In this post, we will talk about the condition in detail.

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What is Shoulder Instability?

The term shoulder instability can define several conditions including:


Shoulder dislocation and subluxation

This is the condition where the upper arm bone forcefully moved out of its place either completely or partially.


Labral Tear

When the labrum is torn or peeled off the glenoid, it can result in shoulder instability. The reason for this could be shoulder dislocation, overuse, or trauma. 


Genetic Condition

Some people have loose shoulder ligaments by birth thus, those people can develop shoulder instability without any trauma or injury.


What Are the Symptoms of Shoulder Instability?

People suffering from shoulder instability may feel that their shoulder joint has been moved out of its socket. Pain is the obvious symptom associated with shoulder instability. It is also noticed that people suffering from shoulder instability find it difficult/painful to make certain movements involving the shoulder joint. Besides this, the affected person also finds a reduced range of motion of the shoulder joint along with swelling and bruising. 


How Shoulder Instability is Diagnosed?

Physical examination is the first step in the diagnosis of shoulder instability. Here, the healthcare service provider looks for painful movements, tenderness, and the strength of the joint. Besides this, the surgeon will also ask certain questions regarding injuries occurring in the shoulder joint. This will help the healthcare service provider identify the exact cause of the condition. 

To get the exact images of the shoulder joint, an x-ray examination will be done. In some cases, MRI or CT scan may also be performed. 


What is the Treatment for Shoulder Instability?

The first and foremost thing one needs to do after getting diagnosed with shoulder instability is to take a rest and avoid activities that involve the use of the affected shoulder. Here, the healthcare service provider may recommend using a sling for immobilization. 

In most cases, targeted physical therapy along with medication to curb pain and inflammation is prescribed. When there is a risk of repeated dislocations or any other injury is there in the shoulder, surgery may be recommended by the doctor. Here, the type of surgery required will depend on the type and extent of injury that the person is suffering from. 

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