Open reconstruction of anterior glenoid rim fractures

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2004 Nov;12(6):568-73. doi: 10.1007/s00167-004-0495-7. Epub 2004 Mar 18.


The present study evaluates the clinical and radiological results of patients with anterior glenoid rim fractures treated with two different open surgical techniques depending on the size of the bony fragment. In patients with displaced glenoid rim fractures involving less than 25% of the glenoid surface (Type I, II and IIIA fractures) suture anchor repair was performed. Patients with a bony defect involving more than 25% of the glenoid surface (Type IIIB fractures) underwent open reduction and internal fixation using cannulated screws. After a mean follow-up of 22 months, 15 patients (mean age 42.2 years) treated with suture anchor repair achieved an average Constant Score of 85.5 points (range 67.1-100) and an average Rowe Score of 94 points (range 70-100). In six patients the bony fragment was located in an unimproved medial position compared to the preoperative X-ray. In another six patients the fragment was consolidated medially to the level of the glenoid rim, and in three cases an anatomic situation was found. Patients treated with cannulated screws (ten cases, mean age 46.6 years) had a mean follow-up of 30 months and achieved a mean Constant Score of 81.9 points (range 61.7-96.1) and a mean Rowe Score of 90 points (range 70-100). Radiologically, the bony fragment was consolidated in an anatomic position in nine out of ten cases. Three patients suffered from screw impingement and one patient had screw loosening. No recurrent subluxations or dislocations were observed in either group. Three patients in group one and one patient in group two had glenohumeral osteoarthritic changes. In cases of small glenoid-rim fractures (Type I, II and IIIA fractures), suture anchor repair resulted in an excellent clinical outcome; however, the radiological results of chronic Type I fractures revealed in many cases a non-anatomical glenoidal reconstruction. For Type IIIB fractures with significant loss of glenoid concavity, open reduction and internal fixation with cannulated screws gave good clinical and radiological results; however the early complication rate was higher.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Screws
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoulder Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Fractures / surgery*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome