How is shoulder instability treated?
Dr. Vidal has several treatment options available depending on the patient age, level of activity and the severity of shoulder instability.
May include the use of a shoulder sling for immobilization to help with pain and assist in proper healing. A combination of ice, rest and physical therapy may be used to help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint. In patients without a rotator cuff tear and at a low risk of recurrence, this is typically the best path.
The decision for surgery is individualized to each patient. Surgery maybe recommended for some patients who are at a high risk for recurrence even after one dislocation.
This could include:
- Young, contact athletes
- Consequence athletes (patients where the risk of a second dislocation puts them at risk for a more serious injury or death – such as mountain climbers, first responders, big wave surfers, etc)
- Traumatic rotator cuff tears
- Critical bone loss or fractures
Additionally, patients who suffer from recurrent instability may require surgery. Dr. Vidal specializes in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder which is minimally invasive and allows a quicker return to normal activities. He also has extensive experience with complex, open procedures for treating shoulder instability in patients who have had multiple prior injuries and/or prior shoulder surgery. Dr. Vidal is happy to discuss the perfect surgical solution and treatment plan for your shoulder instability.