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Anterior Shoulder Instability Management: Indications, Techniques, and Outcomes

      Abstract

      Anterior shoulder instability is common in young athletes. Male individuals younger than 20 years who are involved in contact sports are at particular risk of injury and recurrence. Essential imaging includes radiography and magnetic resonance imaging in all patients, with 3-dimensional computed tomography being helpful to evaluate glenoid bone loss and Hill-Sachs lesions. Evaluation of the glenoid track is essential to help determine appropriate treatment because off-track scenarios in which the Hill-Sachs width is greater than the glenoid width impart a risk of failure with isolated arthroscopic treatment. Associated injuries also must be evaluated, including bone loss, Hill-Sachs lesions, humeral avulsion of the glenohumeral ligament (HAGL), glenolabral articular disruption (GLAD), anterior labroligamentous periosteal sleeve avulsion (ALPSA), rotator cuff injury, other fractures, and axillary nerve injury. Optimal treatment continues to be debated. Conservative management with physical therapy for rotator cuff and periscapular strengthening can be attempted, with the addition of bracing if continued play is desired until the season’s conclusion. Surgical intervention is considered in patients with recurrent dislocations, glenoid bone loss, or large Hill-Sachs lesions or in young athletes involved in contact or high-risk sports. Treatment options include arthroscopic capsulolabral repair with at least 4 anchors if good tissue quality and no bone loss exist. Remplissage has been recommended by some surgeons if a large Hill-Sachs exists. Open repair is suggested in patients with a high number of recurrent dislocations without bone loss or in those who participate in high-risk sports. Coracoid transfer or the Latarjet procedure is suggested in patients with bone loss greater than 20%. Bone grafting for glenoid bone loss using autograft or allograft, such as distal tibial allograft, is recommended in patients with a failed Latarjet procedure or those with significant bone loss. Hill-Sachs lesion grafting may also be beneficial in those with large lesions that engage.
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