Shoulder instability is a prevalent concern among athletes, affecting performance, career longevity, and quality of life. Athletes, especially those engaged in high-impact sports or activities requiring repetitive overhead motions, are susceptible to shoulder injuries that lead to instability. With a focus on restoring functionality and optimizing performance, orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist Dr. Michael Bercik is dedicated to helping athletes in Shillington, PA, return to their sports with confidence and resilience.

The Challenge of Shoulder Instability for Athletes instability is characterized by excessive shoulder joint movement beyond its normal range. It not only impairs their ability to perform at peak levels but also increases the risk of recurrent dislocations and chronic pain, potentially sidelining athletes.

The root causes of shoulder instability in athletes often stem from acute traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in contact sports, or from repetitive stress and overuse, typical in sports requiring overhead motions like swimming, volleyball, and baseball. These activities strain the shoulder ligaments immensely, leading to their stretching or tearing and instability.

Dr. Bercik’s Approach to Shoulder Instability

The first step in addressing shoulder instability involves a thorough diagnostic process. Using advanced imaging techniques and a detailed physical examination, Dr. Bercik can pinpoint the specific nature and extent of the instability. This meticulous approach ensures a diagnosis that captures athletes’ unique challenges, paving the way for a

customized treatment plan.

Non-Surgical Treatment Strategies

Understanding the athlete’s desire to return to their sport, Dr. Bercik often explores non-surgical treatments as the first line of defense. These may include:

  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles, enhance stability, and improve range of motion.
  • Activity Modification: Strategies to modify training and competitive practices to prevent aggravating the condition.
  • Bracing: Supportive devices are used during recovery and return to play, offering additional protection to the injured shoulder.

These non-surgical options address the immediate symptoms and can facilitate a return to activity with minimal downtime.

Surgical Intervention

When conservative treatments fail or in severe cases, Dr. Bercik may recommend surgery. He excels in performing minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries, aiming to repair the damaged areas precisely to facilitate a strong recovery. For more complex cases, Dr. Bercik is skilled in conducting open surgeries to achieve comprehensive restoration of shoulder stability. He customizes his surgical approach to suit the specific requirements of an athlete’s sport, ensuring they can return to their activities with confidence.

Rehabilitation, Education, and Prevention

Recovery from shoulder instability, especially post-surgery, requires a dedicated rehabilitative effort. Dr. Bercik collaborates closely with physical therapists and athletic trainers to ensure athletes regain strength and flexibility and are reconditioned for their sports. This partnership approach provides not just a return to play but a return to play at peak performance levels.

Dr. Bercik emphasizes education on preventive measures and proper techniques to mitigate the risk of future injuries. Through workshops and one-on-one consultations, he equips athletes with the knowledge and tools to protect their shoulders, emphasizing the importance of conditioning, proper warm-ups, and ergonomic sports practices.

Get Back in the Game

Don’t let shoulder instability keep you from the sport you love. In Shillington, PA, Dr. Michael Bercik provides athletes of all levels with a holistic approach to treating shoulder instability, combining diagnostic precision, tailored treatment plans, and a strong emphasis on rehabilitation and prevention. Schedule an appointment online or call 717.560.4200 and let Dr. Bercik help you get back in the game, free from the constraints of shoulder instability.