Shoulder instability

What is shoulder instability?
You stretch to reach something in the back seat of the car or on a high shelf. Suddenly, your shoulder joint feels like it's slipping out of place. Does this sound familiar? If so, you probably have a condition called shoulder instability. It can happen after parts of your shoulder joint are stretched or damaged. Without these parts to hold the joint tight, your shoulder joint can slip unexpectedly, moving too far in certain directions.
The cause of shoulder instability
The most common cause of shoulder instability is a shoulder injury. Falling or running into something, damaging your shoulder during sports, or lifting something the wrong way can overstretch your shoulder joint, loosening the parts of the joint that keep it tight. Once your shoulder joint is loosened, it may be more likely to slip out of the socket again and again.
Making your shoulder stable again
The treatment goal of shoulder instability is to get your shoulder back under your control. We can will evaluate your shoulder and determine the best ways to make it stable again. Treatment for shoulder instability may involve a combination of physical therapy and surgery. After your shoulder is stabilized, regular exercise can help keep it that way.


Your doctor will examine your shoulder and perform some tests to determine what type of instability you have and how severe it is. After the evaluation, you and your doctor will discuss a treatment plan.


Physical therapy, surgery, or both may be needed to get your shoulder back under control. You and your doctor will decide what combination of treatments best suits your lifestyle and goals.


Once your shoulder instability is treated, you can help keep your shoulder strong and stable by continuing to exercise.

Call the Bone & Joint Clinic at 318-425-8701 or email us to set up a consultation.