Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I've heard there are braces that can be worn during sports play for an unstable shoulder. What can you tell me about these?


There are many versions of one brace used most often for this problem. The most common names are the Sully brace, SAWA max shoulder brace, and the Wyre brace. Sometimes these are referred to as shoulder stabilizers.

Most of these braces are similar. They all fit like a vest, with a single short sleeve on the involved shoulder. Motion is limited with straps. The brace holds the shoulder girdle and limits arm motion on the affected side. You adjust it to limit or restrict motions. Some are made of soft material (neoprene) with elastic straps held by velcro. Others are cotton canvas.

Any of these braces can help hold the shoulder joint in place. They assists or restrict movement according to the needs of athlete. The athlete can wear the support while participating in sports. It allows natural movement of the muscles and joints. The Sully brace is suggested for athletes who throw overhead. The Wyre brace is used for nonoverhead throwing athletes in contact sports.

Daniel D. Buss, MD, et al. Nonoperative Management for In-Season Athletes With Anterior Shoulder Instability. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. August/September 2004. Vol. 32. No. 6. Pp. 1430-1433.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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