What Is Shoulder Dislocation and Instability?
How Does Shoulder Dislocation Occur?
Falls and hard blows to the shoulder that occur during sports or trauma are the primary triggers for popping the top of your arm bone from the shoulder joint. It’s commonly seen in athletes involved in volleyball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball, wrestling, and rock climbing -- sports that require overhead reaching and stretching. Shoulder dislocation can also occur spontaneously if the connective tissue in the shoulder is naturally loose.
Shoulder Instability Can Result
A shoulder that doesn't heal properly can become weak, unstable, and more likely to dislocate again -- sometimes with everyday movements like rolling over in bed. Shoulder instability can also occur when ligaments are naturally loose, or when they are damaged from repeated motions like throwing a ball, lifting heavy objects, or being hit in the shoulder during sports.
When Surgery Becomes Necessary
Recurrent shoulder dislocations and chronic shoulder instability may be corrected with a surgical procedure. Your age, activity level, and the extent of your injury will help your shoulder surgeon determine which type of surgery is best for you. Most procedures are performed using an arthroscope, a tiny camera that is inserted through small incisions into the shoulder joint. Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that results in less pain. Traditional open surgery, which requires larger incisions, may be necessary for complex shoulder problems.