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The shoulder is the most inherently unstable joint in the body, prone to high rates of anterior dislocations with subsequent injuries to soft tissue and bony stabilizing structures, resulting in recurrent shoulder instability. Advanced imaging utilizing magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR arthrography allows for thorough evaluation of lesions present in the unstable shoulder and is critical for preoperative planning. Arthroscopic shoulder stabilization in the appropriately selected patient can help restore stability and function. This review highlights correlations between MR imaging and arthroscopy of the most commonly reported soft tissue and bony injuries present in patients with shoulder instability.