A teenager has a first dislocation event. What is the likelihood that recurrent instability will develop?


Older research suggests that up to 90% of teenagers will develop recurrent instability after a first dislocation. More recent studies put that number closer to 70%. It is clear, however, that the younger a person is when the first injury occurs, the greater the risk is that recurrent instability will develop.

What is the point of doing physical therapy for the rotator cuff if the labrum and ligaments are torn?


The rotator cuff muscles and the periscapular muscles are important in maintaining shoulder stability. The more ineffective the ligaments are at supporting the shoulder, the more important muscular strength becomes for the control of the shoulder. Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder may provide enough stability to prevent recurrent dislocations and eliminate the need for surgery.

Should an open or arthroscopic surgery be performed?


The decision to have an open or arthroscopic repair depends on many factors. The cause of the instability, the total number of dislocations, and which technique the surgeon uses are important considerations when choosing the method of reconstruction. A thorough discussion with the surgeon of the treatment options is essential. Regardless of the technique used, the rehabilitation following surgery is the same.

Is a laser used to make the shoulder more stable?


Thermal capsulorraphy (heat treatment of the shoulder capsule) is a new technique developed to achieve shoulder stability. Newer techniques involve a radio frequency probe instead of a laser to shrink the capsule. This type of treatment continues to evolve, and its results are still being evaluated.

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