Traumatic shoulder dislocation in the adolescent athlete: advances in surgical treatment.

Authors: Good CR

References: Curr Opin Pediatr - 01-FEB-2005; 17(1): 25-9

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body and as a result is particularly susceptible to dislocation and subluxation. Recurrent instability is a common complication after traumatic shoulder dislocation in young people, with rates as high as 100% in skeletally immature patients and 96% in for adolescents. Treatment for shoulder dislocation has traditionally involved immobilization followed by a rehabilitation program. Recent studies have reported decreased rates of recurrent instability and improved outcomes in patients treated with surgical stabilization of acute, traumatic shoulder dislocation. The purpose of this review is to review recent publications concerning the treatment of traumatic shoulder dislocations in adolescents.

RECENT FINDINGS: Lawton et al. retrospectively reviewed 70 shoulders in 66 patients 16 years old or younger treated for shoulder instability with follow-up more than 2 years. Forty-two shoulders were successfully treated with physical therapy, whereas 28 eventually required surgery. Subsequently, Deitch et al. retrospectively identified 32 patients between 11 and 18 years of age with radiographically documented traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation. Instability recurred in 75% of patients and 50% eventually required surgical stabilization. Bottoni et al. reported results of a prospective randomized trial comparing arthroscopic stabilization to nonoperative treatment of acute, traumatic shoulder dislocations in patients aged 18 to 26 years. Recurrent instability developed in 75% of patients treated conservatively versus 11% in those treated with surgery. DeBerardino et al. prospectively evaluated arthroscopic stabilization of acute shoulder dislocations in 48 young athletes with an average follow-up of 37 months and reported a 12% rate of recurrent instability. All patients with stable shoulders were able to return to their previous levels of activity.

SUMMARY: Conservative management of traumatic shoulder dislocations in young patients is associated with high rates of recurrent instability. Recent studies have demonstrated improved results and significant reduction in recurrent instability in patients treated with surgical stabilization when compared with nonoperative treatment.


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