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The symptoms of a recurrent shoulder dislocation

In terms of proportions, the shoulder can be likened to a golf ball sitting on a tee, the tee being part of the scapula (glenoid). The capsule and ligament envelope, along with the rotator cuff, prevent the humeral head from slipping forward or backward.
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The symptoms of a recurrent shoulder dislocation

In terms of proportions, the shoulder can be likened to a golf ball sitting on a tee, the tee being part of the scapula (glenoid). The capsule and ligament envelope, along with the rotator cuff, prevent the humeral head from slipping forward or backward.
Contact us to make an appointment

The symptoms of a recurrent shoulder dislocation

In terms of proportions, the shoulder can be likened to a golf ball sitting on a tee, the tee being part of the scapula (glenoid). The capsule and ligament envelope, along with the rotator cuff, prevent the humeral head from slipping forward or backward.

At the humerus, this “envelope” inserts directly into the bone, while at the glenoid, it attaches to a ring of cartilage called the labrum that resembles the meniscus in the knee. Following a trauma, the capsule, ligaments or labrum can tear or separate from the bone of the glenoid (Bankart labrum lesion), leading to instability.

Further episodes of shoulder dislocation can then occur; this is called recurrent dislocation. Depending on their severity, there can also be bone damage in the joint: fracture of the edge of the scapula (or the glenoid, called Bankart lesion) or damage to the humeral head, a bit like pushing in a ping pong ball, called Hill Sachs lesion). Both lesions are typical of anterior dislocations, where the humeral head is pushed forward. This happens in 85% of cases.

Similar lesions can occur in cases of posterior dislocation; these are then known as reverse Bankart and reverse Hill Sachs lesions. Glenohumeral dislocation is not always the result of a trauma, especially in persons with ligament hyperlaxity (which means abnormally loose ligaments). Then, the instability is often multidirectional and frequently affects both shoulders.

If the injury that caused the initial dislocation occurs at a young age (e.g., under 20), the risk of the shoulder remaining unstable is higher. However, when the injury occurs at a more advanced age (e.g. over 50), it is more likely to be associated with a rotator cuff tear. The residual problem will be weakness and pain rather than instability.

How is it diagnosed?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a CT scan and arthrography are performed to identify large lesions of the ligaments or labrum. Arthrography combined with MRI (AMRI) is best to assess the extent of ligament and tendon injury. In subjects over 45, an ultrasound will determine if the rotator cuff has been torn. Repeated episodes of dislocation may lead to premature osteoarthritis, which can also be detected through basic X-rays.

MRI/CT scan

Ultrasound

X-ray

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Five months after my operation, despite the severity of my wound, I am again able to ride a bike without difficulty or pain. I had an impeccable and attentive follow-up from Dr. Beauchamp. Thank you!

A few client testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it: read on to see what our patients have to say!

« I had my operation just three weeks after the first examination. Paying for the operation was well worth it, because after 10 months spent waiting for the public system, I still could not get an appointment with an orthopedist. It is a well-known fact that an operation like mine needs to be done quickly to prevent muscle atrophy. Dr. Beauchamp is a good listener, empathetic, a good man and an excellent orthopedic surgeon! »

« One of the best investments I ever made! He operates only as a last resort and takes the time he needs to explain everything. Very human and the best orthopedic surgeon I’ve ever seen. »

« Very professional, human, likeable. The smartest investment I ever made. One week after the initial consultation, Dr. Beauchamp and his team of professionals operated on me. Four months later, I am 90% recovered. He is worth his weight in gold. »