Shoulder Instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out fo the shoulder socket. This can happen particularly in Rugby, Football and Gaelic Games. Gradual stretching of the capsular ligaments can occur in people involved in overhead throwing activities.
The two basic forms of shoulder instability are subluxations and dislocations. A subluxation is a partial or incomplete dislocation. If the shoulder is partially out of the shoulder socket, it eventually may dislocate. Even a minor injury may push the arm bone out of its socket. A dislocation is when the head of the arm bone slips out of the shoulder socket. Some patients have chronic instability. Shoulder dislocations may occur repeatedly.
Repeated dislocation can cause increased wear in the shoulder joint and repair i.e. reconstruction is usually recommended. This can be done openly or arthroscopically (keyhole) and depends on the patient’s requirements i.e the game they play, the age they are and other considerations.
Usual healing time following surgical reconstruction would be in the order of about four months.