Your shoulder is unstable. It hurts and feels loose. You’ve lost the ability to engage in many of the sports or hobbies you love, and handling day-to-day tasks has become difficult.
Whether your shoulder instability results from a sports injury or loose ligaments from your genetic makeup, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons with Coastal Empire Orthopedics can help get you back in the game. If your doctor lets you know you need surgery to correct the problem, you’ll likely have arthroscopic surgery, which has several benefits over traditional open surgery.
Why is my shoulder unstable?
If you play tennis, baseball, softball, football, or swim, you’re at risk of shoulder instability. Your shoulder is a complex joint with several moving parts that help hold it together: muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Repetitive overhead movements using your shoulder can stretch, tear, or detach (1) ligaments; (2) your shoulder labrum, thick tissue that helps hold the ball of your shoulder, the top of the humerus bone, in place in the socket; and (3) the capsule, the shoulder lining. This type of injury may cause the top of the humerus bone to slip out of the socket, causing a partial or complete shoulder dislocation.
Your shoulder may also be unstable due to genetics. Your shoulder ligaments may be loosely attached, predisposing you to shoulder instability.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery allows the doctor to make tiny incisions to operate. Your surgeon inserts the arthroscope, a lens connected to a camera, inside your shoulder. The camera magnifies the image many times over on a computer monitor, so your doctor gets a clear view of the damage to your shoulder, allowing him to repair it accurately and completely.
Four benefits of arthroscopic surgery
There are several benefits to arthroscopic surgery.
A small incision
Arthroscopic surgery allows your surgeon to make tiny incisions compared to incisions required by open surgery. Arthroscopic incisions are somewhat less than half an inch, whereas traditional surgical incisions can be about two inches long.
The smaller the incision, the faster your wound heals. There’s less trauma to your body. Your arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure; you go home the same day as the procedure.
Lower risk of infection
You have more risk of infection with a large open wound than with tiny incisions in your skin.
Effective surgical treatment
Arthroscopic surgery has a very high rate of success in general. Your doctor determines whether you’re a good candidate for arthroscopic surgery. Some cases of instability must be performed using open surgery.
Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment online today if you have troublesome shoulder instability and for all of your orthopedic needs.