Shoulder Dislocation / Subluxation Repairs

Making up half of all major joint dislocations, shoulder dislocations are very common injuries in contact sports, such as football and hockey, and in sports that involve falls, such as skiing, gymnastics, and volleyball.

If the patient has torn or stretched tendons or ligaments following this injury, they might be recommended surgery, which can be performed arthroscopically.

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach that has many benefits for the patient, such as not having to stay the night in the hospital and a faster recovery. Shoulder subluxations occur when there is a partial dislocation of the shoulder joint. This injury can, too, be treated with arthroscopic surgery.

How Is Arthroscopic Surgery for Shoulder Dislocation or Subluxation Performed?

Surgery for a dislocated shoulder is usually necessary to tighten stretched or torn ligaments or tendons. The orthopedic surgeon may also repair the labrum, the cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket if it is damaged.

The purpose of arthroscopic shoulder surgery for dislocation is to repair or tighten the soft tissues that hold the joint in place. By virtue of the arthroscopic technique, the surgeon can access the shoulder using tiny incisions, which will minimize damage to surrounding tissues.

The orthopedic surgeon performs arthroscopic surgery using a thin instrument known as the arthroscope, which is inserted into the joint through a small incision. It has a video camera and a light at one end and sends images of the inside of the shoulder to a monitor. After positioning the arthroscope, the surgeon inserts other surgical instruments through other small incisions to reposition the torn ligament or labrum to the bone.

The benefits of undergoing surgery for shoulder dislocation arthroscopically include:

As for shoulder subluxation surgery, only patients with repeated episodes of subluxation generally require it. The orthopedic surgeon can fix any problems that make their shoulder joint unstable, such as ligament tears. It can also be carried out arthroscopically.

How Long Does the Recovery Last?

The surgeon may recommend immobilizing the arm and shoulder by wearing a sling for 4-6 weeks to allow the tissues to heal. They will monitor the patient’s healing during follow-up appointments 10 to 14 days after the surgery. After 6 weeks, surgeons advise patients to engage in physical therapy for 3 to 6 months to rebuild muscle strength and restore range of motion in the shoulder. The surgeon may recommend physical therapy for 4 to 8 weeks.

Throughout the first 4 weeks, physical therapists use approaches such as heat and massage to alleviate pain and inflammation. As the shoulder heals and pain subsides, the physical therapist will gradually incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles of the shoulder, arm, and upper back to restore the range of motion and encourage stability.

Frequently Asked Questions