To treat shoulder instability, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery is generally less painful, less likely to cause complications, and enables a rapid recovery process than traditional surgery.

Patient Profile:

  • Dislocated shoulders due to sports, vehicular, or other types of injury
  • History of shoulder "slipping" in and out of socket
  • Acquired shoulder laxity from repetitive activities such as throwing or swimming.

Because the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in our bodies, it is also the joint that is most frequently dislocated. .  Shoulder instability can develop in a variety of ways:

  • Trauma or injury, including labral tears and/or dislocations of the shoulder joint.
  • Repetitive motion injury, especially among athletes who would make the same overhead motions again and again, causing excessive wear and tear on the shoulder joint
  • Genetic factors, which can cause general looseness in the joint and surrounding ligaments, tendons, and muscles, especially when the shoulder is put under strain or stress.

If surgery is required to treat shoulder instability, the goal should be making the shoulder more stable without sacrificing motion.  Whenever possible, minimally invasive surgery is done to repair shoulder instability.  Minimally invasive surgery is generally less painful, enables a faster recovery process, and is less likely to cause complications.  Minimally invasive surgery does not require splitting muscle layers...as a result the pain caused by splitting the muscle layers is decreased.

Dr. Karas advocates using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to surgically treat shoulder instability when surgery is deemed necessary.  The surgery is carried out under general anesthesia.  A small fiber optic scope allows Dr. Karas to see inside the joint, and instruments are inserted through twosmall incisions in the joint to repair the labrum.   Depending on pathology presented, surgery may involve labral repair, ligament tightening, or both.

Watch a video of Dr. Karas performing minimally invasive shoulder instability surgery here.