Your shoulder is a “ball-and-socket” joint, which is made of the humerus ( the ball) and glenoid fossa (socket). The glenoid is a shallow indentation that comes off your shoulder blade and holds the the head of the humerus. Since a glenoid is shallow, it is common for the humerus to be dislocated as a result of blunt force or if the shoulder joint is already compromised by instability, a dislocation can occur without trauma.
There are two categories of Shoulder instability:
Shoulder Subluxation: The shoulder is partially dislocated. When the shoulder is partially out of the socket.
Shoulder Dislocation: The humerus becomes completely removed from the glenoid. It is possible, and common for the labrum (cartilage that buffers your glenoid) to be torn during a complete dislocation. A single shoulder dislocation can lead to chronic shoulder instability.
Common causes for Shoulder Instability include:
- Blunt trauma to the shoulder
- A car accident
- Sports Injury
Symptoms of Shoulder Instability include:
- Feelings of instability in the shoulder
- Intense pain in and around the shoulder joint
- Visual change in shoulder's appearance
- Numbness in arm
Treatments for Shoulder Instability
If your shoulder instability is not severe (subluxations or only 1 dislocation), you will receive a generalized treatment plan that will include:
- Shoulder stabilization and immobilization
- Medication (oral and/or injections)