Shoulder instability / unstable shoulder
Symptoms shoulder instability / unstable shoulder
Affected patients often feel that their shoulder snaps back and forth or to the sides, and that it is not stable anymore. Arm movements, for example, sometimes seem to be uncontrollable. Shoulder and arm movements may cause pain, and that is why patients often develop a relieve posture, or why only some postures are possible. The range of motion of shoulder and arm may also be negatively affected.
Symptoms of shoulder instability in short:
- shoulder snaps forwards, backwards, sidewards
- shoulder feels unstable
- some movements seem to be uncontrollable
- arm / shoulder movements cause pain
- relieve posture or only certain postures are possible that are not painful or uncomfortable
Causes shoulder instability / unstable shoulder
There are various causes of shoulder instability. The shoulder instability may have a genetic origin causing ligaments, tendons, bones and the shoulder joint to be soft or weak. But shoulder instability does also emerge as a result of very shoulder-intensive sports or other activities or accidents damaging shoulders or the arms.
Shoulder instability may occur if the shoulder
- dislocates (dislocated shoulder / shoulder dislocation)
- is separated (separated shoulder / shoulder separation / AC separation / AC joint separation)
- is damaged by an SLAP tear / SLAP lesion
Diagnostics shoulder instability / unstable shoulder
If shoulder instability is assumed, a comprehensive orthopedic examination is carried out often accompanied by imaging procedures like
MRI or X-raying is used to differentiate different diseases that may cause similar or the same symptoms like the impingement syndrome. The best method to differentiate between different injuries is MRI. MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones. If it is necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.
In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a shoulder arthroscopy, during which an endoscope is inserted through small incisions to visualize the different structures of the shoulder enlarged. If indicated, a subsequent arthroscopic surgery is possible directly after the arthroscopic examination.
All examinations can be carried out at Beta Klinik.
Therapy shoulder instability / unstable shoulder
Subject to the cause of the shoulder instability, therapy options can be very different. Important for an effective therapy are the previous examinations (orthopedic examination, imaging procedures like shoulder MRI). It depends on the cause of the shoulder instability if conservative treatments like drugs, physiotherapy and strengthening of muscles or shoulder surgery are necessary.
You can find further information by reading the articles of the possible causes of shoulder instability: