What Is Shoulder Instability?

Photo: Shoulder

Shoulder instability can significantly limit activity, whether you’re a professional athlete or regular individual. If you’re experiencing one or more of the following issues, you may have shoulder instability, a condition in which the shoulder joint becomes loose:

  • A sensation that the shoulder is loose or slipping out of place
  • Quick bursts of sharp shoulder pain
  • History of previous shoulder injury or dislocation
  • Numbness on the outside of or radiating down the arm
  • Swelling or bruising around the shoulder
  • Visible physical abnormalities of the shoulder

Shoulder instability is often caused by one of two types of injuries: Shoulder dislocation or shoulder separation. A dislocation is when the upper arm bone (humerus) loses contact with the socket joint, most commonly from a fall or sports injury. A separation occurs when the collarbone (clavicle) loses contact with the shoulder blade (scapula), usually from receiving a blow to the top of the shoulder or falling onto an outstretched hand.

In many cases, non-surgical treatment can be used. Depending on your needs, however, minimally invasive shoulder repair surgery may be a better option. Dr. Tuvi Mendel, our experienced orthopaedic surgeon, is extensively trained in the most advanced techniques and technology available. He can help you determine the most effective procedure to optimally restore comfort and function.