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:
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.
Feeling of looseness
Lack of strength
Loss of sensation
Clicking, popping or grinding sounds in the joint
Partial paralysis or loss of function
Arthritis of the shoulder
How is shoulder instability treated?
Treatment for labral tears and shoulder instability starts with conservative approaches, including:
If these treatments aren't helping your shoulder to heal, your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC doctor may recommend shoulder reconstruction surgery.
Resting the shoulder
Immobilization of the joint
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.