Chronic Shoulder Instability – How To Treat It?

Chronic Shoulder Instability – How To Treat It?


By Dr. Rajat Jangir, Orthopaedics

The human shoulder is made of a ball and socket joint, making it one of the most moveable joints in the human body. Shoulder instability follows when the upper arm or the humerus is forced out of the socket of the shoulder. The instability causes immense pain, rendering the individual unable to move the arm.


The causes of shoulder instability may be due to the dislocation of the shoulder bone. The shoulder bone may dislocate due to severe injury to it. It may also cause the cartilage around the rim of the socket bone to tear. This condition is also known as ‘Bankart Lesion, which may lead to several other dislocations in the future.

Due to the repetitive overhead motions of the arm and shoulder joint, there might be looseness in the ligament of the shoulder, leading to the instability. This looseness of ligament may also be brought due to the anatomical make-up of the individual.

Some people have naturally loose ligaments in the body or double joints causing the shoulder bones to dislocate in different directions, ultimately leading to instability.


The symptoms of shoulder instability include:

  1. Repeated injury to the ball and socket joint of the shoulder
  2. Severe pain in the shoulder
  3. Persistent feelings of looseness in the shoulder.

In case of these symptoms, clinical attention must be immediately given.


Non-medical treatment is sought after first in these cases. Physical therapy and activity modification are advised by the doctor in the initial stages before suggesting medical treatment. Medical treatment majorly includes surgical treatment such as arthroscopy (minimally invasive surgery on joints), rehabilitation or open surgery. Through proper treatment and physiotherapy, the patient can lead a normal life.