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Scientific Articles   |    
The Epidemiology, Risk of Recurrence, and Functional Outcome After an Acute Traumatic Posterior Dislocation of the Shoulder
C. Michael Robinson, BMedSci, FRCSEd(Orth)1; Matthew Seah, MBChB1; M. Adeel Akhtar, MRCS1
1 The New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh EH16 4SU, United Kingdom. E-mail address for C.M. Robinson: c.mike.robinson@ed.ac.uk
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Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

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Investigation performed at The Shoulder Injury Clinic, Edinburgh Orthopaedic Trauma Unit, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 Sep 07;93(17):1605-1613. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.00973
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Abstract

Background: 

Posterior glenohumeral dislocation is less common than anterior dislocation, and less is known about its epidemiology, functional outcome, and complications. The purposes of this study were to determine the epidemiology and demographics of posterior dislocations and to assess the risk of recurrence and the functional outcome after treatment.

Methods: 

We performed a retrospective review of a prospective audit of the cases of 112 patients who sustained 120 posterior glenohumeral dislocations. Patients were treated with relocation, immobilization, and then physical therapy. Functional outcome was assessed with the Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) and the limb-specific Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score (DASH) during the two years after the dislocation.

Results: 

The prevalence of posterior dislocation was 1.1 per 100,000 population per year, with peaks in male patients between twenty and forty-nine years old, and in the elderly patients over seventy years old. Most dislocations (67%) were produced by a traumatic accident, with most of the remainder produced by seizures. Twenty patients (twenty-three shoulders) developed recurrent instability. On survival analysis, 17.7% (95% confidence interval, 10.8% to 24.6%) of the shoulders developed recurrent instability within the first year. On multivariable analysis, an age of less than forty years, dislocation during a seizure, and a large reverse Hill-Sachs lesion (>1.5 cm3) were predictive of recurrent instability. Small persistent functional deficits were detected with the WOSI and DASH at two years.

Conclusions: 

The prevalence of posterior dislocation is low. The most common complication after this injury is recurrent instability, which occurs at an early stage in 17.7% of shoulders within the first year after dislocation. The risk is highest in patients who are less than forty years old, sustain the dislocation during a seizure, and have a large humeral head defect. The risk is lower for most patients who sustain the injury from a traumatic accident, especially if they are older and have a small anterior humeral head defect. There are persistent deficits of shoulder function within the first two years after the injury.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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