Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Shoulder Instability

Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP

Orthopedics & Pain Management located in Hawthorne, NY & Yonkers, NY

A shoulder that dislocates repeatedly becomes increasingly likely to do so again, leaving you with chronic shoulder instability. If your arm isn’t functioning because of shoulder instability, Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP in Hawthorne and Yonkers, New York, can help. The practice’s highly skilled orthopedic surgeons offer nonoperative treatments for shoulder instability as well as minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and reverse total shoulder replacement. To get the treatment you need for shoulder instability, call the office today or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Instability Q & A

What is shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability is a problem where the structures that hold your shoulder joint together fail. The result is a loose joint that’s easily dislocated. Shoulder instability is often caused by dislocating your shoulder joint. This common injury happens when the head of your upper arm bone (humerus) parts from the socket (glenoid) in your shoulder blade.

It’s also possible to have a partial dislocation or subluxation. After dislocating once, your shoulder is more likely to do so again. You might also suffer a Bankart lesion. This injury is a tear in the labrum, sturdy cartilage that lines the shoulder socket.

The network of muscles and tendons that surrounds your shoulder (the rotator cuff) can also tear. This might happen at the same time as a dislocation or as a separate injury. Severe rotator cuff tears can lead to cuff tear arthropathy, a kind of arthritis that also causes shoulder instability.

How is shoulder instability treated?

To treat shoulder instability, Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons begins by using nonsurgical options. They design a personalized treatment program that can include:

  • Activity changes
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Stem cell therapy injections
  • Cortisone injections

These treatments help shoulder instability for many patients. If you’re not finding them effective, however, surgery will be necessary.

What does surgery for shoulder instability involve?

The Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons team often uses minimally invasive arthroscopy to treat shoulder instability. In some patients with shoulder instability, it’s possible to repair damaged tissues in the joint. In others, the damage is too severe or extensive to repair. If this is the case, shoulder replacement surgery would be necessary.

Shoulder replacement involves taking out the damaged parts of your joint and substituting them with artificial parts. To address the instability problem, your surgeon can do a reverse total shoulder replacement, where they swap the position of the ball and socket that form the joint.

Having the socket on the end of your upper arm bone and the ball on your shoulder blade makes you use your glenoid muscles to move your arm rather than the rotator cuff. Therefore, reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is most suited to patients with severe rotator cuff damage or cuff tear arthropathy.

If your shoulder keeps dislocating or feels weak and unstable, find out how to remedy the problem with help from the team at Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP. Call their office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.