Huw David

Dislocations and Instability in the shoulder

Huw David is vastly experienced in treating shoulder dislocationDislocations of the shoulder are more commonly seen than in any other joint in the body. This is the inevitable trade off for the high degree of mobility inherent within the joint. Dislocations are more frequent in the young especially those involved in contact sports and, unfortunately, can recur.

A full dislocation whereby the ball displaces fully from the shoulder socket is the most extreme example of a range of conditions that we refer to as instability. Shoulder instability for many involves a sensation of the shoulder feeling unstable or loode and the individual may never experience an actual dislocation. For others, instability gives rise to pain, especially with overhead activities or sports and can therefore be easily confused with other shoulder conditions such as subacromial impingement.

Although dislocations usually occur because of trauma, instability of the shoulder may occur without injury and whatever the background, symptoms may be experienced in both shoulders.

It is therefore essential that the correct diagnosis be established in order to provide appropriate treatment. For some, especially those experiencing symptoms of instability without structural damage, specialist physiotherapy may be all that is required. For others, particularly those who have suffered one or more complete dislocations whilst playing sports, surgery is a more likely option.

Huw will be able to establish the correct diagnosis for you and map out a treatment plan appropriate to your needs and goals.

When surgery is required, this can typically be performed with arthroscopic (“keyhole”) techniques. Depending on your individual circumstances such as your level of sporting involvement and the findings identified on preoperative scans, an open procedure in which a small cut in the skin crease over the front of the shoulder may be indicated to allow repair of tissues detached at the time of the dislocation or repositioning of tendons to provide additional support to the shoulder joint and again this is something that Huw can discuss with you in greater detail before your operation.