Patients undergoing stabilization surgery for recurrent, traumatic anterior shoulder instability commonly have restricted passive external rotation

Matthew D. Di Silvestro, Ian K.Y. Lo, Nicholas Mohtadi, Kristie Pletsch and Richard S. Boorman

An important component in the surgical treatment of recurrent anterior shoulder dislocations is the Bankart repair. This is often supplemented with ligament plication for perceived laxity. The glenohumeral ligaments define translational laxity and restrict glenohumeral range of motion. The purpose of this study was to measure the external rotation (ER) range of motion of patients under anesthesia for glenohumeral stabilization surgery. A blinded observer measured bilateral shoulder ER in 15 patients by use of a standardized torque and goniometry. ER in the unstable shoulder with the arm abducted 90° averaged 14° less than that in the uninjured shoulder, and this was statistically significant. There was a significant loss of 11° ER in the unstable shoulder with the arm at the side. The findings indicate that the glenohumeral joint in patients with a Bankart lesion is commonly rotationally stiff.

Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2007, 16, 3, 255-259

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