Shoulder Instability Treatment Available in DeKalb, IL

Shoulder Instability DeKalb IL

A relatively common occurrence among certain types of athletes, shoulder instability is frequently treated by the orthopaedic experts at Midwest Orthopaedic Institute in DeKalb, Illinois. This condition usually causes a telltale slipping sensation (subluxation), or general feeling of looseness, within the shoulder joint whenever the arm is raised overhead. At MOI, we are often asked what causes of chronic shoulder instability, and how it can be prevented and treated.

As explained by the board-certified, fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon at MOI in DeKalb, IL, shoulder instability sometimes follows a traumatic injury or direct blow to the shoulder that forces the upper arm bone (humerus) to pop out of its socket. If this occurs, a physician can often restore function to the joint by manually placing the upper end of the humerus back into its proper position (a procedure known as reducing the shoulder). However, if the cartilage and ligaments surrounding the joint were excessively stretched, the shoulder may become inherently unstable.

Shoulder instability can also develop without a prior dislocation. For instance, repetitive overhead motions can slowly wear down the cartilage in the shoulder joint, leading to instability. Additionally, some individuals have naturally loose ligaments in the shoulder area, making the joint chronically unstable. Regardless of its cause, the condition can result in frequent dislocations, which can lead to severe pain that may require immediate medical attention.

Individuals who participate in certain sports tend to be particularly susceptive to developing shoulder instability due to the repetitive overhead motions that are often involved. Those sports include:

  • Downhill skiing
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Swimming
  • Hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis

To confirm a diagnosis, a physician at MOI will typically examine both of a patient’s shoulders to determine the natural ligament structure and assess the extent of the injury. Treatment may include limited rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physical therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. If nonsurgical treatment does not produce the desired results, surgery may be considered to tighten the loose ligaments.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment to discuss shoulder instability with a specialist, contact Midwest Orthopaedic Institute in DeKalb, IL.