Causes and Treatments for Shoulder Instability - Michael Redler, MD
I’m Dr. Michael Redler – orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and hand surgery at the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center. The shoulder is a unique joint in the fact that it has more motion within that joint than almost any other joint in the body. The shoulder is made up of a ball and socket joint. The socket of the ball and socket however, is a very flat, almost dinner plate-like structure. You now have a round ball on this flat dinner plate. That, in of itself, would not keep the ball on the socket. But around that dinner plate you have what’s called “the labrum”. The labrum is a cartilage cuff that now deepens that dinner plate and really changes it into a cereal bowl. Now that ball can be kept within the socket. However, if you were to tear that labrum, that cartilage cuff, it’s like knocking the sides off of a cereal bowl. Now the milk can spill out – the ball can slip out of the joint. So, generally, for shoulders with instability, because there’s a labrum tear, we need to repair that labrum. Now, the good news is that’s done arthroscopically with minimally invasive techniques as an outpatient. And will, within certain amount of months, allow athletes to return to full function and stability with only minimal chance of recurrence.