Physical examination and medical interview
After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will examine your shoulder. Special tests will help the doctor
assess the instability in your shoulder joint. Your doctor may also check that all the ligaments are loose. For example, your doctor may ask you to try touching the inside of your forearm with your thumb.
Your doctor may order imaging to confirm your diagnosis and identify other conditions.
X-ray. This image will show any damage to the bones that build up the humerus.
MRI. This imaging better shows the soft tissue. It will help your doctor diagnose damage to the ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint.
Chronic shoulder instability is usually treated conservatively first. If these methods do not relieve pain and reduce instability, surgery may be required.
Your doctor will schedule a course of treatment to relieve you of your discomfort. It usually takes several months of conservative treatment to determine whether it is effective. Methods of conservative treatment include: Change of activity. You need to make a few changes to your lifestyle and avoid activities that make your symptoms worse.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen will reduce pain and swelling. Physical therapy. Strengthening the muscles of the shoulder and working to control the movements of the arm can increase the stability of the joint.
Your therapist will schedule an exercise program at home.
Surgery is usually necessary to reconstruct torn or stretched ligaments so that they can better hold the shoulder joint in the correct position.
Arthroscopy: the soft tissues of the shoulder can be repaired using miniature tools and small incisions. This is a one-day procedure or performed on an outpatient basis. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. Your doctor will look inside the joint with a miniature camera and perform the procedure using special thin tools.
Open access surgery: some patients may require open access surgery. This entails the need to make a larger incision above the shoulder and perform surgery directly under eye control. Rehabilitation – After surgery, your arm may be temporarily immobilized with a sling. After removing the Sling, you will begin to perform exercises to rehabilitate the ligaments. This will improve the range of movement of the arm and prevent scarring of the ligaments during healing. Exercises that strengthen your shoulder will be gradually introduced into the rehabilitation program. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for the treatment program.
Exercises adapted to the treatment program are extremely important after the procedure. See what the sample exercises look like. Although it is a slow process, your involvement in physical therapy is the most important factor in getting back to your daily activities.