Classifications of shoulder instability

This lecture outlines the classification systems that are in operation for people with shoulder instability. Classification systems help clinicians by forming a basis for assessment and treatment. They also create a structure for communication between treating clinicians. This course comprises of a short introduction, and then a 30 minute presentation of shoulder instability classification systems. The presentation concludes with a case study or a patient with traumatic instability on a background of hypermobility. Which classification system do you think best describes her situation?



This course is a theoretical review of the classification systems that have been developed in the area of shoulder instability. It will step you through the four main classification systems of shoulder instability, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each classification system. It will then conclude with a case study of a patient with an unstable shoulder. The four main classification system that are reviewed are:

  2. Gerber's system (Static, Dynamic and Voluntary Instability)
  3. FED system (Frequency, Etiology, Direction & Severity)
  4. Stanmore system (Polar I, II & III)

  • iconShoulder instability classification introduction
  • iconClassifications of shoulder instability