Shoulder Instability: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:07

Shoulder is a ball and socket joint which helps in the movement and rotation of arms. Shoulder Instability is a condition that occurs when the arm bone or (humerus) moves out of the shoulder joint. Overuse or sudden impact can cause injury to the shoulder leading to pain and inflammation.

Types of Shoulder Instability

  • Anterior instability: When the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket in forward direction.
  • Posterior instability: When the ball moves out of the shoulder joint in backward direction 
  • Multi-directional instability: Dislocation of shoulder in different directions in known as multi-directional instability.


  • Repetitive stress to the shoulder joint
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Accidents
  • Previous injury to the shoulder


  • Pain and swelling in the shoulder 
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Bruising 
  • Difficulty in shoulder movement


The doctor may conduct physical examination of the patient and ask about his medical history. He may move the shoulder and check for the mobility and strength. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI may be recommended by the doctor to identify the underlying cause and severity of the condition.


Non-surgical treatment

  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medications prescribed by the doctor may help to relieve discomfort. Cortisone injections may be administered in case of severe pain.  
  • Ice and heat therapy: Application of ice packs at regular intervals can be beneficial to ease inflammation. Heat therapy may also help to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Exercise: The orthopedic doctor may recommend strengthening exercises to improve shoulder stability. These exercises may also enhance flexibility and range of motion.
  • Immobilization: Wearing a shoulder strap may help to restrict the shoulder movement and promote healing. Shoulder brace and cast may  also be used for immobilizing the shoulder joint. 
  • Activity modification: Providing rest to the shoulder joint and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition. 

Surgical treatment:

  • Bankart repair: The surgeon makes small incisions in the shoulder joint and repair the damaged tissues. This helps to provide stability to the shoulder joint.
  • Capsular shift:  When shoulder instability is caused due to loose shoulder joint capsule, this surgery may be recommended. In this procedure, the surgeons tighten the shoulder capsule to provide stability.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Shoulder Instability, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon you can call at (972) 899 – 4679 or visit 4951 Long Praire Road Suite 100, Flower Mound, Texas 75028.

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