Anatomical glenoid reconstruction for recurrent anterior glenohumeral instability with glenoid deficiency using an autogenous tricortical iliac crest bone graft

Am J Sports Med. 2006 Feb;34(2):205-12. doi: 10.1177/0363546505281798. Epub 2005 Nov 22.


Background: Anterior shoulder instability associated with severe glenoid bone loss is rare, and little has been reported on this problem. Recent biomechanical and anatomical studies have suggested guidelines for bony reconstruction of the glenoid.

Hypothesis: Anatomical glenoid reconstruction will restore stability in shoulders with recurrent anterior instability owing to glenoid bone loss.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Eleven cases of traumatic recurrent anterior instability that required bony reconstruction for severe anterior glenoid bone loss were reviewed. In all cases, the length of the anterior glenoid defect exceeded the maximum anteroposterior radius of the glenoid based on preoperative assessment by 3-dimensional CT scan. Surgical reconstruction was performed using an intra-articular tricortical iliac crest bone graft contoured to reestablish the concavity and width of the glenoid. The graft was fixed with cannulated screws in combination with an anterior-inferior capsular repair.

Results: At mean follow-up of 33 months, the mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score was 94, compared with a preoperative score of 65. The University of California, Los Angeles score improved to 33 from 18. The Rowe score improved to 94 from a preoperative score of 28. The mean motion loss compared with the contralateral, normal shoulder was 7 degrees of flexion, 14 degrees of external rotation in abduction, and one spinous process level for internal rotation. All patients returned to preinjury levels of sport, and only 2 complained of mild pain with overhead sports activities. No patients reported any recurrent instability (dislocation or subluxation). The CT scans with 3-dimensional reconstructions obtained 4 to 6 months postoperatively demonstrated union of the bone graft with incorporation along the anterior glenoid rim and preservation of joint space.

Conclusion: Anatomical reconstruction of the glenoid with autogenous iliac crest bone graft for recurrent glenohumeral instability in the setting of bone deficiency is an effective form of treatment for this problem.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroplasty / methods*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome