What is a Shoulder Dislocation?
Soft tissue refers to the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround and support our joints.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body and it can easily become unstable and dislocate after a direct accident or injury. Once it has dislocated, it can easily happen again.
What causes a Shoulder Dislocation?
A Shoulder Dislocation occurs when there are injuries to the soft tissue around the shoulder, and can occur as the result of an accident, overuse or direct impact.
Unfortunately, once the surrounding shoulder structures are damaged, they become susceptible to further dislocation, occasionally with only relatively minor injury.
How is a Shoulder Dislocation diagnosed?
A Shoulder Dislocation will be considered following a clinical examination with a specialist. Following that, an imaging scan such as an X-ray or MRI of the shoulder may be required to verify the diagnosis.
Treatment and recovery
Not all Shoulder Dislocations require surgery.
However, surgery is recommended for people with recurrent shoulder dislocations (the shoulder dislocates many times) or when other treatments such as physiotherapy to strengthen the shoulder, painkillers or exercise have failed. Ultimately an operation may be essential to help repair the structural faults caused by the dislocation.
Arthroscopic Shoulder Soft Tissue Stabilisation Surgery
During an arthroscopic shoulder soft tissue stabilisation, an arthroscope (camera) is inserted into the shoulder. The damaged structures are repaired and tightened to restore the joint’s stability. This involves placing small anchors into the socket of the shoulder and suturing (sewing) the torn tissue back to the bone.
Following surgery, you will be reviewed regularly by your surgeon and you will follow a rehabilitation program for 6 to 12 weeks. Your arm will be resting in a shoulder sling for two to six weeks, which is essential to minimise any movement and protect the repair work that has been done. Moving your shoulder inappropriately during this healing phase will reduce the potential benefits of the surgery.
Depending on the nature of your employment, you may be signed off from work for two to six weeks.
Open Bone Block Shoulder Stabilisation (Latarjet procedure)
During this type of surgery, an incision is made at the front of the shoulder. The damaged structures are identified and bone hook of the shoulder (coracoid process-Latarjet procedure) or alternative bone grafts are used and fixed to the socket to reconstruct the bone loss.
Following surgery, your arm will be resting in a shoulder sling for two to six weeks. This is essential to minimise any movement at your shoulder joint and protect the work that has been done. Moving your shoulder inappropriately during this healing phase will reduce the potential benefits of the surgery.
Depending on the nature of your employment, you may be signed off from working from two to six weeks.