Shoulder Instability

A serious shoulder injury or dislocation can cause your shoulder joint to become unstable, reducing function and making future dislocations far more likely. Shoulder reconstruction can repair the damage, and the team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township, Michigan, has considerable experience in carrying out successful reconstructive surgeries using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. Find out more by calling the practice today, or use the online tool to schedule an appointment.

Shoulder Instability Q & A

What is a shoulder reconstruction?

Shoulder reconstruction is a type of surgery that the team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC performs on patients who have shoulder instability. Shoulder instability is a condition that develops when the connective tissues like ligaments and the cartilage that support the shoulder joint get overstretched or tear. The shoulder then becomes loose and unstable. Dislocation of the shoulder joint is common at the same time or after experiencing this type of tissue damage. Dislocation means the round ball at the top of your humerus (upper arm bone), comes out of the shoulder socket. Partial dislocation means the head of the humerus has come partway out and is called a subluxation. Complete dislocation is when the round ball at the top of your humerus comes right out of the socket.

What causes shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability is usually a result of damage to the labrum, which is a ring of tough cartilage that lines the shoulder socket, helping to stabilize the shoulder joint. If the labrum tears, it can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Feeling of looseness
  • Lack of strength
  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Loss of sensation
  • Clicking, popping or grinding sounds in the joint
  • Partial paralysis or loss of function
  • Recurrent dislocations
  • Arthritis of the shoulder
Labral tears usually occur because of an injury, such as falling on your arm when it's outstretched or playing sports that involve a lot of overhead movements, like basketball. In some cases, patients have shoulder instability due to previous failed surgeries. These require revision surgery to repair the damage properly and prevent further problems.

How is shoulder instability treated?

Treatment for labral tears and shoulder instability starts with conservative approaches, including:

  • Resting the shoulder
  • Immobilization of the joint
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Regenerative medicine
If these treatments aren't helping your shoulder to heal, your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC doctor may recommend shoulder reconstruction surgery.

What's involved in shoulder reconstruction surgery?

During shoulder reconstruction, the surgical team reattaches the torn labrum using special anchors that hold it in place in the shoulder socket. They also repair the stretched and torn ligaments in the joint, and any overstretched joint capsules. Depending on the extent of the damage, reconstruction may be a complex process, requiring exceptional surgical skill. This is often the case when the team is carrying out revision surgery on a shoulder joint. Many patients can have shoulder reconstruction surgery using arthroscopic techniques. Arthroscopy is a form of minimally invasive joint surgery that requires far smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. The arthroscope is a slender, flexible tube that your surgeon passes through small incisions into your shoulder, using a video feed sent back from a camera on the end of the arthroscope to carry out the procedure. The Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC team specializes in an arthroscopic technique called Latarjet surgery. This procedure involves taking portions of bone from your shoulder blade and transplanting it into the shoulder socket to help stabilize the joint and prevent further dislocations. If you've suffered a labral tear or dislocation, you need the expert attention of the team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC, so call the office today or book an appointment online.