The shoulder is a highly flexible joint made up of the humerus (upper arm bone) and glenoid (socket in the shoulder blade). If the structure of the glenoid is compromised due to bone loss, it can result in recurrent shoulder dislocations.
A shoulder dislocation occurs when the end of the upper arm moves out of the shoulder socket. The arm may be forced out of the socket as a result of an accident or injury, or repeated overhead motion of the arm.
Symptoms of repeated shoulder dislocation include shoulder pain, weakness, giving out, and a sensation of in-and-out slipping of the joint.
When you present to the clinic with these symptoms, your doctor will review your history and examine the shoulder joint for ligament laxity. Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans may be ordered to check for bone loss and identify tendon or ligament injuries.
Conservative treatment for glenoid bone loss and shoulder dislocation may include activity modification to prevent further damage, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain and swelling, and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint.
Surgery is the treatment of choice for recurrent dislocations with glenoid bone loss. Surgical treatment may include minimally invasive arthroscopy to repair soft tissue injuries. To prevent recurrent dislocations, glenoid reconstruction may be required using an artificial prosthesis (arthroplasty) or bone grafting.