The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint in the human body. The incidence of shoulder dislocation is increasing. Recurrence is common and occurs in as many as 67% of cases. Patients often mention a painful, weak arm and a shoulder that readily dislocates with trivial movements.
The aim of this review is to provide a simple framework for the clinical assessment, investigation, and treatment of the unstable shoulder for non-specialists and to highlight key patient groups that benefit from early specialist input.