JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Surgical repair for recurrent anterior instability of the shoulder.

BACKGROUND: The outcome of surgical repair for recurrent anterior instability of the shoulder at the Wellington Hospital was reviewed.

METHODS: A retrospective review was undertaken of patients undergoing surgical repair for recurrent anterior instability of the shoulder at Wellington Hospital between October 1989 and November 1996. Patients were asked to complete two shoulder-specific questionnaires, and the range of motion, stability, and strength was evaluated clinically.

RESULTS: A total of 37 patients (38 shoulders) who had recurrent anterior dislocation of the shoulder that was unresponsive to a physician-directed rehabilitation programme were managed with open surgical repair. Procedures included the Putti-Platt, Bristow, Magnuson-Stack, Botychev, and Bankart repairs. The mean age at the time of surgery was 24 years and the male-to-female ratio was 11.3:1. Surgery was performed on the dominant side in 63.2% of shoulders. The postoperative redislocation rate was 39.4% at an average of 4.6 years follow-up. Three patients have since required revision of their surgical repair and one patient is awaiting revision. A total of 63.2% of patients were unable to return to their previous level of sports. Differences existed between the motion in the surgically treated shoulder when compared with the contralateral side. Patients reported the most functional difficulty in throwing, working overhead, pulling, and working at shoulder level.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study indicate a high redislocation rate, and highlight the challenges in restoring a stable, mobile, functional shoulder.

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