Shoulder Instability: Why It Happens

Did you know that the shoulder is the most moveable joint of the entire body? Because of its wide range of motion, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury. Shoulder instability happens when the shoulder joint becomes too loose, causing the top of the upper arm bone to move out of its socket. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments become less secure in the shoulder joint, causing the humeral bone to dislocate either from overuse or direct trauma.

Shoulder instability happens frequently among athletes, so if your child actively participates in competitive sports, you should watch out for this type of injury. Athletes who play sports that require strong overhead motions like baseball and volleyball are especially vulnerable. The repetitive shoulder movement causes the muscles and connective tissues to weaken over time. Direct trauma can also cause shoulder instability simply by doing everyday activities such as falling down the stairs or falling off a bicycle.

Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

Your child may complain about a sensation of “looseness” and pain in the shoulder. There is also a feeling of numbness and weakness during activities that require raising the arm and moving the shoulders. Other conditions such as inflammation and bursitis can also develop. If left untreated, a shoulder instability can also lead to dislocation, rotator cuff injuries, and other conditions.

Shoulder pain doesn’t have to be a part of your child’s life. To get an accurate diagnosis, schedule an appointment with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor. The doctor will perform a physical examination and an X-ray, as well as analyze your child’s medical history. If the shoulder instability cannot be fixed with conservative treatments, an arthroscopic surgery can be done to relieve the discomfort, as well as restore the function and mobility of your child’s shoulders.

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