Shoulder instability is caused by a variety of reasons including traumatic shoulder dislocation or a naturally loose shoulder. If you have an unstable shoulder, you may feel like your shoulder slips out of its socket and feels weak.
If you have shoulder instability, you can be treated conservatively by resting, modifying your activity, physical therapy, and taking anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain and soreness. Studies show that patients who are intentional about following a physical therapy program for at least six months show a 90% success rate in reducing pain significantly from shoulder multidirectional instability.
Surgery may be considered if the stability of your shoulder does not improve after conventional attempts. For chronic instability, both arthroscopic and open treatment options exist such as a surgical procedure called capsulorrhaphy. These surgeries can repair or tighten the shoulder to stabilize the ball and socket.
After capsulorrhaphy, you will be sent home with a special brace that will protect your shoulder for about six weeks to allow the tissue around your joints to heal. Dr. Stowell will give you specific instructions for post-op pain management. You will be advised to be diligent about your physical therapy routine for at least six months. Your rehabilitation will focus on healing the subscapularis muscle properly as it will have been cut during surgery. Your recovery time will be about six months.