Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit by calling us today.

Shoulder Instability Specialist

Central Jersey Hand Surgery

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons located in Eatontown, NJ & Freehold, NJ

Your shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, giving your arm a wide range of motions. Unfortunately, the flexibility and mobility of your shoulder also makes it more susceptible to damage and injury, including shoulder instability. At Central Jersey Hand Surgery in Freehold, Eatontown, and Toms River, New Jersey, the team of orthopedic surgeons specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder instability. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Shoulder Instability Q & A

What is shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability develops when your shoulder no longer feels strong or stable enough to carry out its normal functions.


Your shoulder joint is made up of three bones: the upper arm bone, shoulder blade, and clavicle. The strength and movement of your shoulder depends on the strength of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons that hold the joint together. 

Any changes in the structure of your shoulder joint may lead to shoulder instability. 

What causes shoulder instability?

Many conditions can cause shoulder instability. Some of the most common include:

Shoulder dislocation

Whether from a pull or fall injury, shoulder dislocation may stretch or damage the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that keep your shoulder joint in place. 

A dislocation may increase your risk of shoulder instability and recurrence of joint dislocation or subluxation (partially dislocated upper arm bone). 

Labral tear

Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The bones that make up your shoulder are cushioned by a cup-shaped ring of cartilage called the labrum, which also serves as the site of attachment for the ligaments that keep your bones in place.

A labral tear may affect the stability of your shoulder, causing pain, weakness, or change in mobility. 

Repetitive strain

Repetitive overhead use of your shoulder may loosen the ligaments, increasing your risk of shoulder instability. 

Genetic condition

Your shoulder instability may also be genetic. Some people are born with loose ligaments, making them more vulnerable to dislocation and instability. 

How is shoulder instability diagnosed?

The experts at Central Jersey Hand Surgery conduct an in-depth history and physical exam to diagnose shoulder instability. During your exam, your orthopedic expert asks detailed questions about your symptoms and when they started.

They also review your medical and family history and examine the structure and function of your shoulder. Diagnostic imaging may also be requested to confirm or rule out a suspected cause of your shoulder instability. 

How is shoulder instability treated?

Your orthopedic surgeon at Central Jersey Hand Surgery develops individualized treatment plans for shoulder instability based on the underlying cause. Treatment may include:

  • Activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy

If your ligaments are loose or torn, your specialist at Central Jersey Hand Surgery may recommend surgical intervention. When possible, the team uses minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair the damage. 

During arthroscopic surgery, your surgeon inserts an arthroscope (a tube-like device with a light and camera) into your shoulder through a small incision. The arthroscope transmits images of your shoulder to a computer screen that allows your surgeon to examine your shoulder and perform any necessary procedure. 

To get the expert care you need to restore normal function to your shoulder, contact Central Jersey Hand Surgery by phone or online today.