Shoulder dislocation and instability

Written by: Dr. José Carlos Valdés Casas
Published: | Updated: 14/05/2019
Edited by: Top Doctors®

What is a shoulder dislocation and how often does it occur?

Shoulder dislocation is when the head of the humerus comes out of the cavity where it normally lodges in the scapula. If the exit is complete it is a dislocation, and if the exit is partial it is a subluxation. Both are the two forms of instability of the shoulder joint. The articulation of the shoulder is the articulation with greater mobility of the human body and also the most unstable, for that reason the dislocation is a very frequent pathology in this articulation.

What happens in a shoulder instability?

When the head of the humerus leaves the place where it lodged in the scapula, which is an instability both totally in a dislocation and partially in a subluxation, a series of lesions are produced in its interior. If the lesions are severe, the ligaments and the meniscus joint will be removed from the scapula cavity and if scarring does not occur, instability of said shoulder may persist. In other words: the head of the humerus can be dislocated several times and then the patient has a recurrent dislocation, that is, a shoulder that leaves the site on several occasions.

Are all instabilities the same?

There are two major types of instability, atraumatic instability, that is, without trauma or minimal trauma, which is due to loose ligaments.. Many times they are reversible lesions that do not require surgical treatment. The second major type of shoulder instability is traumatic instability, that is, a major trauma, such as a sports accident. In this type of instability the lesions are of greater magnitude and often require surgical treatment, especially in young patients in whom the lesions are of greater consideration.

What is the treatment?

The treatment of shoulder instability will vary depending on each type of instability and must be adapted to each type of patient. In atraumatic instability the treatment is conservative, with good results in most cases, performing an exercise program to strengthen the muscles. In the second type of instability, the traumatic, the treatment in most cases will be surgical and currently arthroscopic in more than 90% of cases. Shoulder arthroscopy, through small incisions, placing a television camera and instruments to operate inside the joint, allows correcting existing injuries. Shoulder arthroscopy is currently a very safe technique that allows to correct instability with a very comfortable postoperative period and with little discomfort for the patient.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. José Carlos Valdés Casas
Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Jose Carlos Valdes Casas has for years full to shoulder pathology in all its facets, sporting and rheumatic, degenerative or traumatic dedication. For treatment uses both arthroscopy and open surgery classical and conservative treatment, as a function of the needs of each patient. For many years a member of the European Society of surgery of shoulder and elbow.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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