Dr. P.H Laubscher, Orthopaedic surgeon

Dr. P.H Laubscher, Orthopaedic surgeon in Johannesburg

Shoulder instability/dislocation

Pain is usually associated with an acute dislocation incident. Once the joint is reduced (ball back in socket) the pain and discomfort improves considerably. Pain may flare up again with episodes of dislocation or even subluxation (partial dislocation) especially if a soft/bony lesion is still present in the shoulder.

Pain is therefore mostly episodic in nature and associated with certain activities. In cases where a lesion is present which predisposes the patient to repeat dislocation or in high demand sports persons, surgery is indicated to prevent recurring episodes of dislocation. Multiple episodes of shoulder dislocation/subluxation may lead to osteoarthritis of the shoulder in the long term.


Recommended treatment and care needed for this condition:

The specific pathology involved and several patient factors will determine whether an arthroscopic repair (Bankart repair) or open procedure (Laterjet procedure) will be necessary to resolve the problem.


Read about some more common shoulder ailments below.