Athletes that participate in contact sports are at a higher risk for conditions like anterior shoulder instability. With overuse or after an injury– such as a dislocated shoulder– the joint stretches and becomes unstable. When the joint capsule is stretched out, it stays that way. This means the shoulder remains unstable and can lead to pain or further injury if not corrected.
There are two ways athletes can correct anterior shoulder instability: non-operative management through maintenance exercises and arthroscopic shoulder stabilization surgery. Here we further explore these two options and their individual benefits and drawbacks.
Anterior Shoulder Instability and Non-Operative Management
Younger athletes can help manage anterior shoulder instability with a combination of exercises that help build muscles that support your joint. In addition to these exercises, athletes should avoid playing contact sports that can undo their work and further de-stabilize the shoulder.
- Proprioception training – These balance exercises teach your body how to control its positioning of your injured joint.
- Rhythmic stabilization drills – The purpose of these drills is to re-educate the shoulder muscles on how to react to movement.
- Scapular muscle strengthening exercises – Building muscle in the scapula can help provide stability when the other overstretched parts of the shoulder cannot.
While non-invasive management mean you don’t have to go under the knife, they also mean giving up contact sport in order to preserve what is left in the shoulder joint. For athletes who wish to return to play, arthroscopic shoulder stabilization may be the answer.
What is Arthroscopic Shoulder Stabilization Surgery?
Arthroscopic shoulder stabilization surgery repairs the overstretched joint by making the capsule and ligaments more tensile. The operation is performed inside the body while the orthopedic surgeon views the operation from a television monitor. The surgeon uses small holes to suture anchors into the shoulder bone. These anchors have stitches attached that the surgeon then passes through surrounding tissues in order to reattach the shoulder labrum and capsule to the socket.
After success arthroscopic shoulder stabilization, contact athletes have a short recovery time before being able to return to play. The athlete helps prevent further injury through further maintenance exercises.
If you are an athlete or non-athlete with anterior shoulder instability, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld today. Dr. Grossfeld has over 10 years of experience in arthroscopic shoulder stabilization as well as non-operative management. Call 502-212-2663 to make an appointment today.