Stabilisation of the shoulder

Shoulder instability can lead to a number of shoulder injuries. The stretching or tearing of the labrum – the part of the shoulder that stabilises the shoulder joint, causes shoulder instability and puts the shoulder at greater risk of dislocation.

What is shoulder dislocation?

There are several types of shoulder dislocation. These include:

  • Traumatic dislocation
    Traumatic dislocation occurs when the shoulder is pulled out of joint. This is relatively common in sport injuries. In severe cases, the labrum may tear away from the bone, causing further dislocation. In this case, your orthopedic surgeon is likely to use x-rays and MRI scans to confirm the diagnosis, and may need to perform anterior stabilization surgery.
  • Atraumatic dislocation
    This type of shoulder dislocation occurs without significant force, and can happen as a result of an everyday activity such as reaching for an object and hyper-extending in the presence of a lax capsule. Physiotherapy is the starting point of management but arthroscopic surgical stabilization can be an option if other options have failed in treating this kind of dislocation.

What are the treatment options?

Shoulder instability can be treated with physiotherapy, although your orthopedic surgeon may recommend shoulder surgery for long-term benefits. Dr Pirjol performs arthroscopy to repair chronic instability.

Can I prevent shoulder instability?

There are a number of shoulder exercises, which can help to prevent dislocations. Speak to your orthopedic doctor for advice.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is based at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban and also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.


Telephone : +27 31 202 5463

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Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001