Shoulder Instability: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Craig W. Goodhart, MD 23. April 2016 10:37

The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body as it enables the movement of the arm in many directions. This extensive range of motion also makes it prone to dislocations and injuries. The shoulder joint comprises of the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collar bone). The humerus is rounded at the top and rests in a socket shaped cavity within the scapula.

Shoulder Instability or loose shoulder is a condition that occurs when the upper part of the humerus slips out of the socket in the shoulder joint. It is termed as partial dislocation or subluxation if the humerus is partially displaced and total displacement if it slips out completely. Patients with Shoulder Instability, are more likely to suffer from repeated injuries and joint dislocation.


  • Shallow or flattened socket
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stretching and consequent loosening of ligaments
  • Prolonged immobilization of the joint
  • Sudden trauma or injury to the shoulder or arm
  • Bankart Lesion- tearing of the cartilage that lines the socket
  • Repeated overhead movements such as in swimming or tennis
  • Inherent anatomical disorders
  • Impaired neuromuscular control
  • Lifting a heavy weight or an awkward position while moving the arm


  • Pain
  • Weakness and instability in the arm and shoulder
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Repeated instances of the shoulder giving away
  • Tenderness in the shoulder when touched
  • Inability to lift things or move the arm away from the body
  • Discomfort while sleeping on the affected shoulder


  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history and daily activities
  • Physical examination of the Dislocated Shoulder
  • X-ray imaging
  • MRI scan may be done to evaluate the condition of muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves


  • Activities that may aggravate pain or discomfort should be avoided
  • Heat or ice packs may be used to reduce swelling and pain
  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers to provide relief from the symptoms
  • Torn or loose ligaments may be surgically stitched back to enhance stability
  • The shoulder and arm may be immobilized for a specific period of time post-surgery to aid healing
  • Range of motion exercises may be recommended by a physical therapist to regain strength and restore movement in the joint.

Dr. Goodhart, a leading orthopedic surgeon in Carrolton, TX, provides effective treatment for Shoulder Instability and other medical conditions. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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