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SHOULDER INSTABILITY IN THE COLLISION ATHLETE –THE ‘COLLISION SHOULDER’

Authors: A.A. Malone, L. Funk, K. Mohammed and C.M. Ball

References: BESS 2007, Telford UK

Abstract
We document intra-articular pathology in collision athletes with shoulder instability and describe the ‘collision shoulder’ - a direct impact without dislocation, with unusual labral injury, significant intra-articular pathology and neurology. 183 collision athletes were treated for labral injuries in 3 centres. Details of injury mechanism and intra-articular pathology at surgery were recorded. Premier league and International (Elite) comprised 72 players. A tackle was implicated in 52% of injuries and 65% had a dislocation. The mechanism of injury was ABduction External Rotation (ABER) in 45%, direct impact 36%, abduction only 8% and axial load 6%. Dislocation occurred in 51% of shoulders with ABER mechanism. A Bankart lesion was found in 79% of these shoulders; Hill-Sachs in 58% and Bony Bankart in 26%. Inferoposterior involvement of labral tears was present in only 11%, Superior Labral Antero-Posterior (SLAP) lesions in 32% and partial injury to the rotator cuff in 32%. In those sustaining a direct impact to the shoulder, 61% did not document dislocation, had a high incidence of inferoposterior labral involvement (50%), neurological symptoms (32%), and a low incidence of Bankart (33%), Hill-Sachs (22%) and Bony Bankart (11%) lesions. The mechanism did not affect incidence of superior labral / SLAP tears (18%), or capsular tears (including Humeral Avulsion of Glenohumeral Ligaments - HAGL) – 15%. Elite athletes had less dislocations (43% vs 74%) irrespective of mechanism, but were 40% more likely to have neurology, posteroinferior labral, cartilaginous or capsular injuries. They had twice the incidence of Bony Bankart and rotator cuff lesions and 5 times more SLAP / superior labral tears. Collision athletes with shoulder instability have a wide spectrum of pathoanatomy of the labrum and frequent associated intra-articular lesions. Significant injury often occurs in the Elite athlete and those sustaining a direct hit without dislocation (the ‘Collision Shoulder’).

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