Reduction of acute anterior shoulder dislocations using the Milch technique: a study of ski injuries

J A Russell, E M Holmes, D J Keller, J H Vargas
Journal of Trauma 1981, 21 (9): 802-4
During the 1977-78, 1978-79, and 1979-80 ski seasons, 76 acute anterior shoulder dislocations were treated by one of three Orthopedic Surgeons at the Rutland Vermont Hospital Emergency Room: 68 (89.4%) were reduced on first attempt using the Milch technique of abduction and external rotation. Four (5.2%) required general anesthesia and four were reduced using meperidine hydrochloride (Demerol, Winthrop) and diazepam (Valium, Roche) and a traction-countertraction technique. Of the 68 shoulders reduced with the Milch technique, 47 (69.1%) required no analgesics or muscle relaxants. There were no complications attributable to the technique itself. Males were injured more frequently than females in a 4.4:1 ratio. Left shoulder injuries were as common as right. Recurrent dislocations occurred more frequently in younger individuals. Fractures of the greater tuberosity were associated injuries in five (6.6%) of all dislocations. These all occurred in individuals older than age 39 years and were coincident with primary dislocations.

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