Feeling A Bit Unstable?

The shoulder is involved in almost every movement of the arm, every day. The joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons all work together for lifting, rotating, throwing, and much more. The shoulder joint depends on the tendons and ligaments for stability to function. Shoulder instability occurs when one or more of these elements are damaged. As a result, the joint can feel out of place. If the issue continues, a labral tear is one of the first injuries a doctor would suspect.

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Beware of a labral tear

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that connects the upper arm to the chest and collarbone. Wrapped around the joint are a series of muscles and ligaments called the rotator cuff. Around the edge of the shoulder socket is the labrum, a thick, cup-like piece of cartilage. The labrum helps keep the ball in the socket and connects other tissues. Labral tears can be classified as SLAP tears and Bankart tears, which need medical help.

Signs and symptoms of shoulder instability

Labral tears, regardless of how serious, can lead to shoulder instability. With shoulder instability, the joint loses range of motion. Simple positions like raising the arm overhead, performing household tasks, or lifting items are problematic. The joint can pop out of place, weakening the shoulder. When that happens, pain, swelling, and a clicking or catching motion can occur. Look for these signs and speak with a doctor immediately.

Do you need surgery?

A doctor will perform a physical exam and x-ray to review the shoulder. Further tests like an MRI or CT scan can determine the degree of damage. From there, doctors can decide if surgery is necessary. The shoulder can benefit from non-surgical treatment such as immobilization in a sling in many cases. A combination of pain medication, physical therapy, and temperature therapy can help recover. If there is no relief after several weeks of treatment, surgery is best. Surgery is also helpful for athletes who want to get back to playing as quickly as possible.

Here’s what happens under the knife

Thanks to advancements in technology, shoulder repair happen under minimally invasive means. That means smaller incisions, faster recovery, and better outcomes. First, the surgeon uses arthroscopy to view the damaged ligaments. From there, the surgeon will reattach the ligament, stitch the labrum, or anchor the ligament to the bone. After surgery, patients often need 6-8 weeks of physical therapy to restore the full range of motion.

Take care of your shoulder

Shoulder instability due to labral tears can be painful. In many cases, labral tears could be the reason. Shoulder instability responds well to non-surgical means, but the doctor will suggest surgery if these fail. Repairing the ligament using minimally invasive surgery can help. If the shoulder feels unstable, speak with a doctor immediately.

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“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

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“Anesthesia staff was outstanding!”

“The staff was great, especially Mary and Marcia. Marcia was extremely helpful post-op and made sure I was comfortable and well-cared for.”

“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”

“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”

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“The nurses were very nice and caring!”
“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
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“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”

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“All staff were wonderful.”

“I can’t say enough about Marcia and the entire team. The care I received was well beyond anything I could have expected.”

“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”
“Dr. Best…is the best!”

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