This problem is very common in athletes, especially overhead and collision/contact athletes.  The variations of shoulder instability are too great to discuss here exhaustively, but are described as resulting from either a complete dislocation or a partial dislocation (also known as subluxation) or an overuse instability (such as from pitching a baseball). They are described in terms of the direction of instability and progression of the problem, often leading to being unstable in multiple directions as more episodes of instability occur.  Many involve tears of the labrum, the location of which is usually determined by the position of the arm at the time of injury.

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