The shoulder joint has been likened to a golf ball on a tee in that a small amount of bone contact is present to maintain the proper “ball in socket” relationship. A rim of cartilage surrounds the socket called the labrum and helps to keep the joint in place. Tears in the labrum cartilage or surrounding ligaments can render the shoulder unstable in one or more directions. This can be a painful and disabling problem for patients and may require surgical treatment.
In addition, high perfomance athletes may experience small amounts of instability known as “microinstability” as a result of a breakdown in their throwing arm mechanics. This can lead to pain and inability to perform at the highest level possible.
When conservative treatments such as physical therapy and steroid injections fail to relieve symptoms, surgery may be required.
Arthroscopic techniques are available to assist in stabilizing the shoulder while avoiding disruption of the large muscles surrounding the joint. If you have been diagnosed with shoulder instability and would like consultation, please contact Dr. Christoforetti!