Posterior capsular rupture causing posterior shoulder instability: a case report

Arthroscopy. 2011 Sep;27(9):1304-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Jul 31.


We report the case of a 20-year-old male competitive football player who was treated for a midsubstance posterior capsule rupture after a posterior dislocation from falling onto his shoulder. Conservative management for 5 months after the injury failed to improve his subjective symptoms, with the primary symptom being activity-related posterior shoulder pain. Advanced imaging findings and physical examination were consistent with posterior instability, thought to be due to a posterior labral tear. At the time of a diagnostic arthroscopy, the patient was found to have an oval-shaped rupture of the capsule that was neither a reverse humeral avulsion of the glenohumeral ligament lesion nor a posterior labral tear. The capsular tear was repaired through an all-arthroscopic technique with nonabsorbable sutures. The patient returned to his previous competitive function, had no pain, and had full motion at final follow-up without recurrence of instability or pain symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy*
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Joint Capsule / injuries*
  • Joint Capsule / surgery
  • Joint Instability / etiology*
  • Joint Instability / surgery
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Rupture / diagnosis
  • Rupture / etiology
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Shoulder Dislocation / etiology*
  • Shoulder Dislocation / surgery
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Suture Techniques
  • Young Adult