Shoulder instability

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but this extraordinary range of movement can make it unstable. Injury, overuse and genetics can cause the structures that hold the ball in the socket to tear or loosen. The ball can slip out of position, causing pain and a feeling of ‘giving way.’

The London Orthopaedic Clinic’s expert orthopaedic surgeons are specialists in the treatment of shoulder instability. Many people’s instability is resolved by physiotherapy and exercises. If conservative measures haven’t worked, they can operate to stabilise the joint in the Clinic’s state-of-the-art operating theatres.

What is shoulder instability?

Shoulder instability usually occurs when the structures that keep the ball and socket in position are loose or damaged. A network of bones, ligaments, joint capsule and cartilage work together to move the shoulder and maintain stability, although overuse, trauma from a shoulder dislocation or genetic laxity can make them stretched, torn or even detached. The ball can partially slip out of the socket, known as shoulder subluxation.

Symptoms of shoulder instability

Instability of the shoulder joint is uncomfortable and painful. You may notice that the shoulder ‘gives way’ when you move your arm in a certain direction. Common triggers include an acute dislocation, or even simple activities such as throwing a ball, serving in tennis or stretching backwards. There may be severe pain, a heavy dead feeling in the arm and restricted mobility.

If your shoulder instability is affecting your ability to work, exercise and live life to the full, the London Orthopaedic Clinic can provide expert assessment, advice and treatment

How can the London Orthopaedic Clinic help with shoulder instability?

The specialist orthopaedic surgeons at the London Orthopaedic Clinic will be able to fully assess your shoulder and the impact shoulder instability is having on your life. They will arrange investigation in the high-tech imaging suite, which may include X-ray, MRI or CT scan. They will then tailor a treatment programme to resolve your symptoms. This can include:


Why choose the London Orthopaedic Clinic?

The London Orthopaedic Clinic provides high-quality, expert orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care tailored to the individual needs of our patients. The Clinic is based at Mayo Clinic Healthcare, at the heart of London’s internationally renowned Harley Street medical district. The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers cutting-edge diagnostics, treatment, management and personalised care.

The expert multi-disciplinary team includes more than 25 leading orthopaedic surgeons, pain management specialists and radiologists. They work together to reduce pain, improve movement and make a real difference to patients’ lives.

The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers patients something truly unique: access to world-leading experts, high-tech imaging and the latest innovative treatments, together with the feeling of trust and safety of a small family practice.

Shoulder instability treatment costs

Shoulder instability treatment at the London Orthopaedic Clinic may be covered by your health insurance policy. Competitive packages are also available for patients who are self-paying. Contact a member of our friendly team on 020 7186 1000 or at to find out more.