Arthrodesis as a salvage procedure for recurrent instability of the shoulder

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. May-Jun 2003;12(3):237-41. doi: 10.1016/s1058-2746(02)86883-5.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of shoulder arthrodesis as a salvage procedure for recurrent shoulder instability. Eight patients with an average of seven prior stabilization attempts were reviewed retrospectively at a mean follow-up of 35 months (range, 24-83 months). The average time to bony union after arthrodesis was 3.5 months (range, 2.5-5 months). The patients reported significant overall subjective improvement as a group after fusion. None of the patients complained of instability postoperatively. All 8 stated that they would repeat the surgery again under similar preoperative circumstances. Despite limitations in function and residual pain, our results suggest that shoulder arthrodesis is a viable treatment option for patients with refractory shoulder instability.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology*
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome