Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Susan H.N. Jeno


Joint Instability; Shoulder Dislocation; Shoulder Joint


Shoulder dislocations are increasingly being recognized among physical therapists as a common disabling condition in the health care setting. Surgeons are constantly attempting to improve and develop new surgical techniques to help patients who present with anterior instability. The purpose of this paper is to address the issue of anterior instability and its clinical importance to physical therapy.

The shoulder complex demonstrates an important balance between stability and mobility. As the name implies, it is an extremely complicated joint with various components contributing to its strength. The shoulder joint is dislocated more often than any other major joint in the body. Approximately 95% of these shoulder dislocations are anterior in nature.

This literature review will cover the pertinent anatomy of the shoulder, the biomechanics, the etiology, the rehabilitation, and the conservative versus surgical management. It will provide updated information which will be valuable to physical therapists treating patients with a diagnosis of anterior instability.