Arthroscopic repair of acute traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation in young athletes

Arthroscopy. 2001 Apr;17(4):373-7. doi: 10.1053/jars.2001.23226.


Purpose: To compare the results of arthroscopic repair in acute anterior shoulder traumatic dislocation with those of nonoperative treatment.

Type of study: A prospective nonrandomized study was performed.

Methods: Between August 1989 and April 1997, 46 patients were seen after a first episode of traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation. The average age was 21 years (range, 17 to 27 years). Most dislocations were in rugby players (36 patients). There were 18 patients treated by nonoperative methods and 28 patients treated by acute arthroscopic repair; 22 patients using transglenoid suture and 6 patients with bone anchor suture fixation.

Results: Of the patients treated nonoperatively, 94.5% suffered a redislocation between 4 and 18 months (average, 6 months). In the operative group, 96% of the patients (27) obtained excellent results according to the Rowe scale. Only 1 patient suffered a redislocation 1 year after surgery. Three different types of lesions were found during surgery: group I, capsular tear with no labrum lesion (4%); group II, capsular tear with partial labrum detachment (32%); and group III, capsular tear and full anterior labrum detachment (64%). The average follow-up was 67.4 months (range, 28 to 120). There were no surgical complications.

Conclusions: The operative group obtained 96% excellent results, but the nonoperative group only obtained 5.5% excellent results, according to the Rowe scale. The nonoperative group showed a high incidence of redislocation (94.5%) compared with the operative group (4%). Based on the findings of this study, we recommend using an arthroscopic evaluation and repair after an initial anterior traumatic shoulder dislocation in young athletes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Football / injuries
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Shoulder Dislocation / rehabilitation
  • Shoulder Dislocation / surgery*
  • Skiing / injuries
  • Soccer / injuries
  • Suture Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome