Shoulder Instability – Flower Mound, TX
Dr. Kulwicki is a leading orthopedic surgeon providing treatment for a wide range of shoulder conditions. He uses advanced techniques to help patients find relief from shoulder pain caused due to fracture, ligament injury, joint instability etc.

Shoulder Instability

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint of the body. It is a ball and socket joint and has an extensive range of movement including extension, flexion, rotation, abduction and adduction. As the joint is used in almost all daily activities, it may become unstable and prone to dislocations as well.


The shoulder joint is composed of humerus, scapula, coracoids, clavicle and acromion which are held together by various muscles. Shoulder Instability refers to the dislocation of glenohumeral joint i.e. the humerus gets separate from scapula.

Types Of Shoulder Instability:

  • Partial: The humerus is partly inside the glenoid socket.
  • Complete: Complete detachment of the humerus out of the shoulder socket

Depending upon the exact site of dislocation, the condition can be classified as:

  • Anterior Dislocation: It is the most common type of shoulder dislocation. The mechanism of injury is usually an indirect force with a combination of abduction, extension and external rotation of the arm. Anterior dislocation often occurs along with labral tear, greater tuberocity fractures or humeral head compression fractures.
  • Posterior Dislocation: The injury limits the external rotation movement of the shoulder joint. Only 5% of the shoulder dislocations are posterior. The most common sign of posterior dislocation is the shoulder being locked in internal rotation.

Causes Of Shoulder Instability

  • Loose ligaments
  • Repetitive strain, particularly in sports like swimming, tennis etc.
  • Multi-directional movement of the shoulder
  • Injury or excessive force on the shoulder
  • Accidents

Symptoms Of Shoulder Instability

  • History of recurrent shoulder dislocation or instability
  • Numbness around the shoulder joint
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Difficulty or painful movements

Diagnosis Of Shoulder Instability

Diagnosis is usually based on the medical history of patient and physical examination. Radiological investigations may include:

  • X ray:  Axillary radiographic view may show the dislocated bone in the joint. Any associated fracture or break may also be noted.
  • MRI scan may be conducted to rule out ant soft tissue injuries.

Treatment For Shoulder Instability

Non-surgical treatment:

  • Manual reduction to restore the normal position of the bone
  • Immobilization for a few weeks to allow the joint to heal
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed for pain relief
  • Physiotherapy may be recommended to strengthen the muscles and ligaments

Surgical treatment:

In cases of recurrent Shoulder Instability, surgical intervention may be required. The procedure may involve repairing the torn ligaments so that they are able to hold the shoulder joint in place.

After surgery, a sling may be used to immobilize the shoulder and certain exercise may be performed to strengthen the muscles.

For treatment of Shoulder Instability, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon in Flower Mound, TX, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679.