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Operative Results of the Inferior Capsular Shift Procedure for Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder*
Roger G. Pollock, M.D.†; John M. Owens, M.D.‡; Evan L. Flatow, M.D.§; Louis U. Bigliani, M.D.†
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Campus, New York, N.Y.
*No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.
†Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Campus, 622 West 168th Street, New York, N.Y. 10032.
‡111 Dean Street, Tenafly, New Jersey 07670.
§Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 5 East 98th Street, New York, N.Y. 10029.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2000 Jul 01;82(7):919-919
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Abstract

Background: Neer and Foster previously described the inferior capsular shift procedure for treating multidirectional instability of the shoulder and reported preliminary results that were quite satisfactory. The purpose of our study was to perform a longer-term follow-up evaluation of the efficacy of the inferior capsular shift procedure for treating multidirectional instability of the shoulder.

Methods: An inferior capsular shift procedure was used to treat multidirectional instability of the shoulder in forty-nine patients (fifty-two shoulders). All patients had failed to respond to an exercise program. In this series, the operative approach (anterior or posterior) was based on the major direction of the instability, as determined by the preoperative history and physical examination and as verified by examination with the patient under anesthesia. In all of the patients, the inferior capsular shift was the primary attempt at operative stabilization. The repair consisted of a lateral-side (or humeral-side) shift of the capsule to reduce capsular redundancy and, when necessary, a reattachment of the avulsed labrum to the anteroinferior aspect of the glenoid.

Results: A redundant capsular pouch was seen in all of the shoulders in this series. In addition, detachment of the anteroinferior aspect of the labrum was found in ten shoulders and an anterior fracture of the glenoid rim was seen in two shoulders. At an average of sixty-one months (range, twenty-four to 132 months), results were available for forty-nine shoulders (forty-six patients). Thirty shoulders (61 percent) had an excellent overall result, sixteen (33 percent) had a good result, one (2 percent) had a fair result, and two (4 percent) had a poor result. Forty-seven (96 percent) of the forty-nine shoulders remained stable at the time of follow-up. Two of the thirty-four shoulders that had been repaired through an anterior approach began to subluxate anteroinferiorly again. None of the fifteen shoulders that had been repaired through a posterior approach had recurrent instability. Full function, including the ability to perform strenuous manual tasks, was restored to forty-five shoulders (92 percent). A return to sports was possible after thirty-one (86 percent) of the thirty-six procedures done in athletes; however, a return to the premorbid level of participation was possible after only twenty-five (69 percent) of the thirty-six procedures.

Conclusions: The results in this series demonstrate the efficacy and the durability of the results of the inferior capsular shift procedure for the treatment of shoulders with multidirectional instability. The procedure directly addresses the major pathological feature - a redundant joint capsule. Similar results were seen with either an anterior or a posterior approach, and we continue to approach shoulders with multidirectional instability on the side of greatest instability. A postoperative brace was reserved for patients in whom a posterior approach had been used or in whom an anterior approach had involved extensive posterior capsular dissection (ten of the thirty-four shoulders treated with the anterior approach).

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    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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