Dislocated Shoulder Surgery Specialist

Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery

Hand, Elbow, Shoulder, and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Centers located in Phoenix, AZ & Mesa, AZ

As the most mobile joint in the body, your shoulder is particularly prone to instability or dislocation. Orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist Dr. Vivek Agrawal has the expertise and experience it takes to determine whether dislocated shoulder surgery is the best option for you. He treats patients from across the United States and all over the world at the Arizona Center for Hand Surgery. For your convenience, you can see Dr. Agrawal at the practice’s three locations in Phoenix, the Northwest Valley, and Mesa, Arizona. Contact one of the offices for an in-person or remote evaluation with Dr. Agrawal today.

Dislocated Shoulder Surgery Q & A

What causes shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability is what happens when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. Although it often happens as the result of an acute injury, it can just as easily be the result of overuse. Once your shoulder becomes dislocated, it’s prone to happen again.

Having a loose shoulder joint that suffers repeated dislocations is known as chronic shoulder instability. The two most common ways that a shoulder can become unstable are dislocation and repetitive strain.

Initial shoulder dislocation is often caused by injury or trauma. In such cases, the socket bone, or glenoid, is sometimes injured, as is the labrum, or the cartilage ridge around the edge of the glenoid bone. Shoulder instability can also be caused by loose ligaments in the joint, a condition that may be part of your normal anatomy, or brought on by repetitive overhead motion. Work or sports that require repetitive overhead motion can eventually stretch out the ligaments and weaken the joint.

What is a reverse total shoulder replacement?

Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery can be used to address debilitating shoulder pain caused by a variety of factors, ranging from a completely torn rotator cuff to chronic shoulder instability. This type of surgery is an excellent option for patients whose shoulder instability is caused by a rotator cuff tear and may also be an option for older patients who have suffered a severe dislocation.

In a reverse shoulder replacement, Dr. Agrawal places an artificial socket on the arm bone, and attaches the ball to your shoulder blade. This provides the shoulder with a stable center of rotation allowing your muscles to resume their optimal length.

Dr. Agrawal was one of the first orthopedic surgeons to perform this type of surgery in the United States. Since then, he has become one of the leading providers of reverse total shoulder replacement surgery in the country, for both local and international patients of all ages.

What other instability-related problems can be corrected through surgery?

The round cartilage ridge around the edge of the glenoid bone, known as the labrum, plays an important role in keeping your shoulder stable. It creates a bumper cushion that deepens the entire shoulder socket, thereby increasing the amount of energy required for the top of your upper arm bone to come out of the socket.

A tear or injury anywhere along the labrum can cause an unstable shoulder, and a shoulder joint that has dislocated multiple times is more likely to have extensive injury to the labrum. A labrum tear, also known as a SLAP lesion, can be diagnosed and treated with arthroscopy surgery.

Glenoid bone (shoulder socket) loss is a major risk factor for developing an unstable shoulder or a shoulder dislocation, and patients that have experienced any amount of glenoid bone loss may require a more advanced surgical procedure to correct an unstable shoulder.

Whether glenoid bone loss is the result of injury, gradual erosion, a developmental variation, or some combination of factors, maximizing the size of the glenoid bone through bone graft surgery is a vital component of the successful long-term treatment for unstable shoulders.

To learn more about treatment options, contact Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery for an in-person or remote consultation with Dr. Agrawal today.