Shoulder Instability & Laxity

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Shoulder instability is an inability to maintain the humeral head in the centre of the glenohumeral capsule during shoulder movements due to ligament laxity. There are 3 types:

  1. Traumatic – due to dislocation or a labral tear usually from a fall or contact to the shoulder.
  2. Atraumatic – congenital looseness in the shoulder due to hypermobility.
  3. Acquired – due to repetitive microtrauma.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling like the arm is going to subluxate or ‘pop out’ during certain shoulder movements.
  • Clunking or popping during shoulder movements.
  • Numbness/tingling around the shoulder and down the arm.
  • Weakness
  • Pain with certain movements.
  • Muscle wastage