What is the treatment for shoulder instability?
If a shoulder dislocation is suspected, immediate medical attention by a medical professional or orthopedic shoulder specialist is strongly advised.
If a shoulder dislocation diagnosis is confirmed, manual manipulation of the humeral head back into the glenoid socket is essential. This joint reduction technique should only be performed by a medical professional who is experienced in this procedure. If the shoulder joint is successfully reduced, pain should immediately improve.
Following a successful reduction of the shoulder joint, Dr. Provencher will immobilize the shoulder joint with a sling, or other immobilization device, for the ligaments to properly heal. Dr. Provencher will recommend range-of-motion exercises and will offer education regarding safe positions for the shoulder after injury. A combination of rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be used for pain and inflammation management. If the pain is not alleviated with oral medications, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended, depending on the injury. When appropriate, a physical rehabilitation program will be implemented to strengthen the shoulder.
In the event of an unsuccessful shoulder joint reduction, or severe shoulder instability, Dr. Provencher may encourage treatment with a shoulder arthroscopy. A small camera (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments are used in this minimally invasive procedure to examine and repair the damaged soft tissues of the shoulder. This arthroscopic surgical procedure is effective at correcting shoulder instability while also decreasing the recovery time for patients to return to their normal daily activities.