Latarjet Procedure

Latarjet Procedure in Bethesda, MD

Dislocating your shoulder is painful and can lead to other serious issues as well. A dislocated shoulder, which is different from a separated shoulder, occurs when the head of the humerus bone pops out of the shoulder joint. You can sustain a shoulder dislocation when you fall on your shoulder or stretch your arm incorrectly. The majority of shoulder dislocations are classified as anterior, though you can also sustain a superior, inferior or posterior dislocation.

If you suffer frequent shoulder dislocations, you may be a candidate for anterior shoulder instability surgery, which is also referred to as a Latarjet procedure. At OrthoBethesda, we offer high-quality shoulder instability treatment for patients in Bethesda, MD, including Latarjet procedures. Our team has performed many of these surgeries and can walk you through the preparation and recovery.

We want your experience with us to be as pleasant as possible. We understand how frustrating a painful shoulder injury can be, which is why we’ll treat you as though you were part of our own family, offering personalized attention and explaining every step of the procedure in plain language that you can understand.


Shoulder Dislocation

You are playing a pickup game basketball with friends when you jump up to grab a rebound. Someone grabs your arm and pulls it back to block and you feel your shoulder slip out of place.  Suddenly you have severe pain and can’t move your shoulder. The game stops. One of your buddies tells you he thinks you have dislocated your shoulder. You go to the emergency room where a doctor gives you some medications that help you relax and then she pulls on the shoulder and places it back in. She places your arm in a sling and tells you to see an orthopaedic surgeon. This is just one of many scenarios that can cause a shoulder to dislocate.

How Shoulder Dislocation Happens

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. This allows us to place our hand in a nearly infinite number of positions. The socket, called the glenoid is shallow and much smaller than the ball, called the humerus. Because the socket is so shallow the shoulder can slide out of the front, bottom or back of the joint. It can also partially slide out and slide back in, called a subluxation.

Symptoms of Shoulder Dislocation

Think you need treatment for a shoulder dislocation? Here are some signs that you’ve suffered this debilitating injury:

  • Extreme pain, which may radiate below the shoulder and down the arm
  • Numbing of the arm
  • Feeling the shoulder slip out of joint

You can often identify displacements visually, which may make the shoulder appear to be square.

What You Should Do if You’ve Dislocated Your Shoulder

A shoulder dislocation is very painful and you will require medical help right away. When it occurs it is nearly impossible to move the arm. The shoulder may look deformed compared to the other shoulder. Sometimes the hand or arm may feel numb. Most physicians’ offices are not equipped to manage a dislocated shoulder. Secure the arm at your side.  You may do this with a sling if you have one, or gently wrap a belt or sheet around you or just support your arm with your other hand. You should then have someone take you to an emergency room or urgent care facility. As I described in the scenario above, they will try to put the shoulder back then put the arm in a sling and tell you to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon.

While you are waiting to see an orthopedic surgeon you should apply an ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel or t-shirt to the shoulder for no more than 20 minutes at a time every couple of hours while awake. After 2 – 3 days, a hot pack or heating pad may feel better to loosen up tight muscles. Stay in your sling even at night or whenever you sleep. You may use over the counter pain medications like aspirin, other anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Take them as directed on the bottle for only as long as you need for pain. Don’t forget to remove the sling daily to move the elbow, wrist and hand to prevent them from getting too stiff. Keep the elbow at your side at all times and this will lessen the likelihood of the shoulder dislocating again.

What Happens During Anterior Shoulder Instability Surgery?

Before we recommend surgery, we’ll exhaust all other options, such as physical therapy. We prefer to try more conservative methods before surgery. The procedure involves creating a barrier at the front of the shoulder to prevent the shoulder from slipping. We’ll take a piece of bone from another part of the body and fuse it to the front of the shoulder socket. Muscle relocated there will give the shoulder additional stability.

After the procedure, you may experience less range of motion in the shoulder, and it can take up to six months to fully recover from the procedure. The surgery boasts a high success rate and can reduce the likelihood of future shoulder dislocation.

Why Choose OrthoBethesda for a Latarjet Procedure?

There are many benefits to choosing our orthopedic practice for shoulder dislocation treatment. We have an experienced team that has performed many Latarjet procedures and brings vast knowledge of the surgery to each procedure. Our physicians enjoy talking with our patients and answering any questions they have before and after the procedure. We’ll treat you the way we’d want our spouse, child, mother or father treated.

Further Reading

Best Physical Therapy Methods for Treating Shoulder Pain and Injuries

How to Sleep After Shoulder Surgery


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Contact Us for More Information on Shoulder Instability Treatment

We offer top-notch orthopedic treatment in both Bethesda, MD, and Arlington, VA. We can address the issues that led to your shoulder dislocation and provide treatment that will prevent it from happening again. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment by calling (301) 530-1010.