A common condition seen by orthopedists is shoulder instability. The shoulder is particularly vulnerable to this kind of injury because it has such a broad range of motion. The need for the shoulder joint to move in so many different directions makes it prone to injury, and once an initial injury occurs, repeated episodes of instability are much more likely. If your orthopedist has diagnosed you with chronic shoulder instability, here is what you need to know.

What causes shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability is the result of shoulder dislocation. This occurs when the rounded head of the upper arm bone is pushed out the shoulder socket that houses it. Dislocation can happen because of an acute injury, or it may occur over time as a result of overuse. When shoulder dislocation occurs, you may feel pain and like your shoulder is loose or giving out when you try to move it. If you think you have dislocated your shoulder, visit your orthopedist, who may recommend diagnostic imaging to confirm the injury.

What makes shoulder instability chronic?

Chronic shoulder instability happens when you repeatedly dislocate your shoulder. Every time it occurs, you are likely to experience the same symptoms of pain, weakness, and looseness in your shoulder. Because chronic shoulder instability is common after an initial dislocation episode, dislocation can happen without warning or without a clear cause.

What treatments are available?

Your orthopedist will first try nonsurgical treatments in most cases. Potential treatments include physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that surround your shoulder joint, pain medications, and activity modification. If the tendons or ligaments are stretched or torn, then surgery to repair them may be necessary, so that they can better hold your joint together.

From chronic shoulder instability to acute sports injuries, Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine can provide the treatment you need to get out of pain and off the sidelines quickly. You can schedule an appointment to see an orthopedic specialist in Queens today by calling us at (347) 537-2404.

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