Original Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 1, P12-20, January 2018

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Conjoined Tendon Transfer for Traumatic Anterior Glenohumeral Instability in Patients With Large Bony Defects and Anterior Capsulolabral Deficiency


      To report outcomes of a conjoined tendon transfer procedure in a small case series of young active patients of various activity levels with recurrent traumatic anterior shoulder instability.


      A retrospective chart review identified 10 consecutive patients who underwent conjoined tendon transfer (8 open and 2 arthroscopic) for anterior glenohumeral instability from January 2009 through December 2012. The indications were traumatic anterior shoulder instability with 25% or greater anterior glenoid bone loss, engaging Hill-Sachs lesion, or absent anterior-inferior labral tissue with anterior capsular tissue that did not readily hold sutures or a combination of these deficiencies. Patients did not undergo the procedure if they had healthy capsulolabral tissue and small bony defects or if they competed in high-level collision sports or were overhead throwers. The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) questionnaire and a physical examination were completed preoperatively. Postoperatively, patients answered questions about shoulder stability and completed ASES and Western Ontario Shoulder Index questionnaires. A physical examination was performed postoperatively to assess range of motion.


      Of 10 patients, 9 were available for follow-up. The mean age was 33.0 years (range, 18-51 years) at the time of surgery. Eight of nine patients underwent a physical examination at 31.3 ± 10.5 months (range, 24-58 months) postoperatively. There were no revisions or complications except for recurrent instability in 1 patient who underwent the arthroscopic procedure and reported gross deviation from the postoperative protocol. The ASES score improved significantly (62.8 ± 21.2 at baseline vs 89.2 ± 11.5 at final follow-up, P = .01). The postoperative Western Ontario Shoulder Index score was 74.5 ± 19.7. No significant change was found in external rotation in 90° of abduction (80.6° ± 12.9° at baseline vs 88.4° ± 6.1° at final follow-up, P = .11) or in flexion (145.6° ± 14.9° at baseline vs 153.1° ± 16.4° at final follow-up, P = .19). All patients returned to their previous activity level.


      Stability was restored and no significant range-of-motion loss was observed in noncollision athletes who underwent conjoined tendon transfer. Recurrent instability occurred in 1 patient who underwent the arthroscopic procedure. There were no other complications.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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