Shoulder instability is a condition that involves laxity of the shoulder joint and that slides around too much in the socket after an injury. This can cause frequent slipping (subluxation), dislocation and may lead to arthritis. Shoulder instability can occur after a previous shoulder dislocation, and is also common in young athletes and double jointed people. This condition commonly involves tearing of the labrum, known as a labral tear.
Treatment for shoulder instability usually begins with physical therapy and rehabilitation, but some people may need surgical treatment. Instability surgery varies depending on the cause of the condition, but usually aims to tighten the loose ligaments of the shoulder. The most common types of instability surgery include:
- Bankart Repair. Used for shoulders prone to dislocation and removes torn and degenerative tissue and any bone spurs that rub on the tendons of the shoulder. The torn ligaments are then reattached to the bone with suture anchors.
- Capsular Shift. Used to decrease and tighten the joint capsule, the lining of the joint, when it is too large.
Both of these surgeries can be performed through arthroscopy, which allows for minimally invasive procedures with smaller incisions and shorter recovery times.