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My shoulder partially dislocates daily. Help?

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Old 02-06-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Longmont, colorado, USA
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Imacountrygal HB User
My shoulder partially dislocates daily. Help?

l am 19 and I hurt my shoulder 6 months ago, went to an orthopedist, and had an MRI arthrogram. The MRI came back fine. I have multi-directional instability and shoulder subluxtion, so my shoulder partially dislocates from the back, front, and down. I have loose, stretched out ligaments in my shoulder and that's causing the slipping. I started going to physical therapy twice a week, then it was once a week, and then once every other week ever since the injury. I'm doing all the excercises at home everyday as well. I'm finished with PT now. The therapists said that I can do the exercises on my own and that my strength has really built up. The goal is to get my strength built up in my shoulder so it wouldn't be so loose and slip out (partially dislocate).
My orthopedist cleared me to play basketball this year since I have no pain, and to have a follow up appointment when the season's over. If it's still slipping after the season is over in March, he said I may need surgery. So, it's now February and my shoulder still slips out at least 5 times a day. My shoulder slips out mainly with picking things up (my purse, a jacket, the jug of milk) and bringing my arm so it's bent at my side.

What do I do? I would think that I would be seeing an improvement with my shoulder slipping out (partially dislocating).

Like I said, my strength has really built up and is great -the therapist said I'm as strong as I can get with my shoulder. But when my shoulder slips, it looks somewhat deformed (I have the sulcus sign which I suppose orthopedists look for in instability) and I have to move my arm around until it pops and then I feel my shoulder slide back up into place.

If I was given the choice, do you think I should get surgery? It doesn't cause me any pain, it's just rather uncomfortable.
So, if you were me, would you get surgery to fix the instability or would you just ignore it since it doesn't cause pain?

Has anyone else had multi-directional instabilty and shoulder subluxation? Has anyone had surgery for it?

I know ultimately my orthopedic surgeon and I will make that decision. I'd just like to hear your thoughts and opinions. So, any experience, advice, opinions, information?

Thanks so much for reading this. I appreciate your input!

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: My shoulder partially dislocates daily. Help?

I have some multidirectional instablity and my shoulder subluxes when I move as well. Mine isn't quite as bad as yours though. It doesn't fully slip out, I just end up with lots of inflammation when the subluxing continues to cause irritation. I ended up with shoulder impingement syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis a few years ago. Surgery for that helped, but only to "clean things up".

Based on the conversations I had with my shoulder surgeon, I'd consider a second opinion before deciding to move forward with the surgery. If you do have it, I'd make sure to ask a lot of questions first. My surgeon explained the surgery to me and said he rarely does it because there is a risk of losing Range of Motion with the surgery.

Surgery very well may be a consideration for you. I just think you should have another opinion from someone well trained in shoulders who explains the potential long term impacts the surgery may have for you.

I wish you well.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Longmont, colorado, USA
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Imacountrygal HB User
Re: My shoulder partially dislocates daily. Help?


Thank you very much for your response. It's nice to hear from someone who is dealing with the same type of injury.

My shoulder does not fully slip out either. It's just partially slipping in and out of the joint. Luckily for me, I don't have much pain or any inflammation.

I'm sorry that all that happened with your shoulder!
So, you mention that surgery helped with the other issues and cleaned things up with your shoulder.
Did you have anything done during surgery for your instability? Do you still have instability? Did your surgeon ever suggest surgery for the instability? Sorry for the questions. I'm just curious.

That's a good point about getting a second opinion. I think I may do that just to hear another surgeon's perspective. I know the surgery can be hard because there is a risk of the shoulder becoming too tight. When I was going to PT, my therapists mentioned some of these things about the surgery.
After I get my shoulder re-evaluated at the end of this month, I may make another appointment with some other orthopedist just to hear what they think.
If they both suggest surgery, etc., I will stick with the one I see now. Luckily, I have found a great orthopedic surgeon who is board-certified and specializes specifically in injuries to the knees, elbows, and shoulders. I actually had 2 knee surgeries done by him last summer. So, he's "familiar" and I'm comfortable with him.

Again, thanks for your reply! It definitely helps to hear about someone else's experience.

God Bless!

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