Do patients with traumatic recurrent anterior shoulder instability have generalized joint laxity?

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Apr;470(4):957-60. doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-1992-x.


Background: A number of studies suggest a relationship between generalized joint laxity (GJL) and increased risk of some musculoskeletal injuries. However, there are conflicting data on the association between GJL and traumatic recurrent shoulder instability (RSI).

Questions/purposes: We therefore asked whether the incidence of GJL in patients with RSI was greater than that in a control group.

Methods: We preoperatively determined GJL with a Beighton score in 100 male patients arthroscopically treated for RSI. The mean age of the patients was 25 years. We identified a control group of 100 individuals, matched for age and gender, with no known history of instability of the shoulder, knees, or ankles and obtained the same score. Those patients with a Beighton score greater than six points were considered lax (representing GJL).

Results: We identified no difference in the rate of GJL in the two groups: 13 of the 100 patients versus nine of the 100 control subjects.

Conclusion: Our data add to the literature suggesting GJL does not predispose to RSI.

Level of evidence: Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Recurrence
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*