Shoulder Instability & Dislocated Shoulder Treatment St. Louis, MO
Shoulder Instability & Dislocated Shoulder Treatment in St. Louis, MO
Unlike the ball-and-socket joint at the hip, the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint has a very shallow “socket” – so shallow, in fact, that it requires a lining of cartilage (labrum) around its rim to keep the “ball” of the upper arm in place. Because of this, minor injuries or common wear and tear can easily create a situation in which the shoulder joint becomes unstable and more easily subject to dislocation.
Joint dislocation is when the bones of the joint fall out of their normal position within the joint. In the shoulder, this means the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) slips out of the socket (glenoid cavity) of the shoulder blade (scapula). A partial dislocation – in which the ball comes only partially out of the socket – is called a shoulder subluxation. When the ball comes entirely out of the socket, it is a complete dislocation.
Shoulder dislocation is a common sports injury and may also occur during a car accident or a bad fall.
In addition to the noticeable deformity of the shoulder, you will likely experience immediate, severe shoulder pain, swelling, and be unable to move your arm if your shoulder becomes dislocated. In addition, your arm, neck, hand, and fingers may start to go numb.
What to Do for a Dislocated Shoulder
A dislocated shoulder requires prompt medical attention.
You should seek the help of a physician at an orthopedic urgent care, emergency room, or other medical facility who can properly reset the bone. Improperly resetting a dislocated shoulder can cause additional damage such as a fracture or injury to tendons, ligaments, nerves, and other tissue at the shoulder joint.
Splinting, medication (for pain and inflammation), and physical therapy may also be required after a shoulder dislocation. Certain exercises are critical to regaining strength in your shoulder and reducing stiffness. It may take a few months to completely recover after a shoulder dislocation.
The good news is that surgery is rarely required for a dislocated shoulder.
Chronic Shoulder Instability
When your shoulder joint is loose and the humerus repeatedly slips out of its place within the glenoid cavity of your shoulder blade, it is referred to as chronic shoulder instability.
If you’ve ever experienced a shoulder dislocation, you are much more likely to have future dislocations and chronic shoulder instability – especially if a Bankart labral tear occurred during the initial dislocation.
Even if you’ve never had a shoulder dislocation before, you can still develop chronic shoulder instability – usually as the result of stretched or torn ligaments, thanks to the strain of repetitive overhead movements. In much rarer cases, a person may have looser ligaments in the shoulder than the average person, which can lead to shoulder instability.
Surgery to repair stretched or torn ligaments may be necessary to resolve chronic shoulder instability when other efforts such as rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy fail. Most often, this can be accomplished by minimally invasive arthroscopy, which means less pain, scarring, and a faster recovery than with traditional “open” surgeries.
For Dislocated Shoulder Treatments in St. Louis, MO, Contact Our Orthopedic Surgeon Today!
Don’t let chronic shoulder instability – or periodic dislocations – keep you from the activities you enjoy. Talk to orthopedic surgeon Jason Browdy, MD about your treatment options. Call (314) 991-2150 or request an appointment now – we look forward to seeing you at our office in St. Louis, Missouri.