How is shoulder instability treated?
Once all the diagnostic information is obtained, Dr. Brown will discuss the operative and non-operative treatments and help you choose which method is best for your needs and future goals.
The shoulder can be placed in a sling that immobilizes the arm. Ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications can be utilized at first to help with pain control during the initial healing of the shoulder. The shoulder can be taken out of a sling and physical therapy will be initiated to help regain range of motion. Patients should avoid stressful motions of the shoulder while it continues to heal. Athletes with shoulder dislocations may be able to return to sports within a few weeks but will likely need to wear a special brace to prevent the shoulder from assuming “at risk” positions that could cause the shoulder to dislocate again.
If the best option as decided between Dr. Brown and the patient is surgical treatment, Dr. Brown will perform stabilizing surgery arthroscopically. Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses a small camera called an arthroscope which allows Dr. Brown to see inside the shoulder. He then uses small, specialized instruments to operate within the joint. Through small incisions, the shoulder joint can be inspected and the damaged structures such as the labrum, biceps tendon, rotator cuff tendons, and bones can be repaired. For more complex injuries, a larger incision may be chosen as the best means to accomplish the goal of stabilizing the shoulder. Dr. Brown is a highly skilled shoulder surgeon and has experience in successfully helping his patients who have recurrent shoulder dislocations.