What is it?
The shoulder is the most unstable ball and socket joint in the body and as a result relies heavily on its surrounding soft tissue structures to maintain stability.
The most common reason that the shoulder comes out of joint (dislocates); either fully or partially, is due to an injury occurring, such as a fall or as a result of a sporting collision.
Some people have shoulders that are more prone to instability either because their soft tissues are more lax than others or their shoulder muscles are overactive.
It is important to establish the cause of persistent instability, and often there can be components of all three causes contributing.
Examination of your shoulder is the first step in assessment, but an MRI scan is often performed to evaluate the shoulder further and help guide treatment.
If no structural damage is obvious, then Physiotherapy rehabilitation is the mainstay of treatment. Keyhole (arthroscopy) surgery is used to address soft tissue damage that is repairable and to restore stability; open surgery is less frequently required, but is necessary if there is significant damage to the bones of the ball and socket.