Anterior shoulder instability: A review of pathoanatomy, diagnosis and treatment

Guillaume D. Dumont, Robert D. Russell, William J. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The glenohumeral joint is inherently predisposed to instability by its bony architecture. The incidence of traumatic shoulder instability is 1.7% in the general population. Associated injuries to the capsulolabral structures of the glenohumeral joint have been described and may play a role in predicting recurrent instability. Advanced imaging, computed tomography or MRI may be necessary to adequately evaluate for associated glenohumeral pathology. Treatment algorithms have traditionally included a period of non-operative management in all patients, however young athletic patients may often benefit from early operative treatment. Various open and arthroscopic surgical options exist to address anterior glenohumeral instability. Bony injuries including bony Bankart lesions and Hills Sachs lesion have been implicated in failed surgical management using techniques that address only the soft tissues. An individualized treatment approach, based upon the patient's injury pattern and expectations, will likely lead to the most successful outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Bankart lesion
  • Glenohumeral instability
  • HAGL
  • Labrum
  • Latarjet
  • Shoulder dislocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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