Shoulder Instability

Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand and Upper Extremity located in Fredericksburg, TX & Boerne, TX

While incredibly flexible, your shoulder joint is also highly vulnerable to injury. Shoulder instability is one of the most common shoulder problems today. Without proper treatment, it can severely limit your function. But with help from Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, your shoulder can feel and move normally again. Call either of the two offices in Fredericksburg and Boerne, Texas, or click the online appointment tool now.

Shoulder Instability Q & A

What is shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability is a condition that commonly occurs when the ball part of your upper arm bone (the humerus) shifts partially or totally out of its socket, also called dislocation. This may start sporadically, with the bone popping in and out of position, but the bone can eventually become permanently dislodged. 

While dislocation causes more than 90% of shoulder instability, you may also develop shoulder instability because of repetitive shoulder strain or connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which causes overly flexible ligaments. 

What are the symptoms of shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability symptoms can vary quite a bit, and some people have symptoms only sporadically. You may have:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Loose-feeling shoulder
  • Popping sensation when the bone moves out of place
  • Limited range-of-motion


With shoulder instability, the humerus doesn't remain in its position reliably, so you can't move your shoulder with confidence. 

How is shoulder instability treated?

The doctors design customized shoulder instability treatment plans for every patient. Shoulder instability treatment usually starts with nonsurgical treatments, including rest, temporary immobilization with a sling, and physical therapy. 

Most people can heal and gradually return to normal activities with this conservative approach. 

If conservative management techniques don’t bring adequate results, the doctors may recommend a surgical procedure. Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive option in which the doctors make very small incisions and then perform any necessary tissue repairs to stabilize your joint. 

In some cases, you may need open surgery, in which the doctor makes a longer incision and then repairs, tightens, or performs other necessary corrections. He may secure repaired tissue using anchors in your bone. 

The doctors may recommend shoulder replacement surgery if you have recurrent shoulder dislocations that cause long-term shoulder instability. He's one of just a few Texas Hill Country orthopedic surgeons who perform total shoulder replacements and reverse shoulder replacements. 

The doctor's goal is to help you resume the lifestyle that you want, so he recommends a plan to achieve that in a safe way. 

Learn more about how you can overcome shoulder instability by calling the Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine office nearest you, or book an appointment using the online scheduler now.