Dislocation and Instability


Dislocation occurs when a “normal” shoulder is subjected to a violent injury, like those suffered when playing contact sport.  The humeral head moves forward and downward and as it fully dislocates it tears certain structures.  Much more rarely the shoulder may dislocate backwards.

A patient who has had a dislocated shoulder may never regain quite the same movement in the shoulder, but depending on your age and activity level, surgery is not necessarily required.

Unlike most conditions, recurrent instability and recurrent dislocation following such an injury is more common in younger people.  Therefore, many patients would prefer to have surgery so they can return to the same activity level and for the good of their shoulder in the longer term.

Most surgical repairs are performed arthroscopically but, depending on your injury, you may require open surgery.

Atraumatic “Multidirectional” Instability

Atraumatic “multidirectional” instability occurs in people with very lax shoulder capsules and can be present at any age from the early teens onwards. The name can be misleading because the shoulder commonly tends to come out in one direction only.

There may have been no trauma to cause this instability. It is important that Dr Scott identifies the cause of the instability because treatment, including surgery, is quite different from that for traumatic dislocation of a normal shoulder.  Surgery may be arthroscopic or open, depending on the individual features of the case.

If you have dislocation or shoulder instability problems and would like to consult with Dr Scott, find out how you can make an appointment, or contact us now to discuss your situation.