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Nonoperative Treatment of Anterior Glenoid Rim Fractures After First-Time Traumatic Anterior Shoulder Dislocation: A Study with 9-Year Follow-up


Wieser, Karl; Waltenspül, Manuel; Ernstbrunner, Lukas; Ammann, Elias; Nieuwland, Arend; Eid, Karim; Gerber, Christian (2020). Nonoperative Treatment of Anterior Glenoid Rim Fractures After First-Time Traumatic Anterior Shoulder Dislocation: A Study with 9-Year Follow-up. JBJS Open Access, 5(4):e20.00133.

Abstract

Primary traumatic anterior shoulder dislocations can be associated with displaced anterior glenoid rim fractures. Nonoperative treatment of such fractures has been shown to have excellent results in a small cohort of patients; as such, we have been treating these fractures nonoperatively, regardless of fragment size and degree of displacement, provided that post-reduction computed tomography scans revealed an anteroposteriorly centered humeral head. The aim of this study was to analyze the medium- to long-term results of nonoperative treatment of displaced anterior glenoid rim fractures, assessing in particular the residual instability and development of osteoarthritis.

Methods

In a 2-center study, 30 patients with a mean age of 48 years (range, 29 to 67 years) were evaluated clinically with use of the Subjective Shoulder Value, Constant score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, and Western Ontario Shoulder Instability index, as well as radiographically with use of radiographs and computed tomography scans at a mean follow-up of 9 years (range, 5 to 14 years).

Results

Fracture-healing was documented in all patients. Seven patients (23%) had post-fracture onset of osteoarthritis (5 with Samilson grade I and 2 with Samilson grade IV). Of these, 1 patient had recurrent instability that was successfully treated with hemiarthroplasty 9 years after the index injury (relative Constant score, 101%), and was excluded from further analysis. No other patient had a recurrent redislocation, subluxation, or positive apprehension. The other 6 patients with new-onset radiographic osteoarthritis were pain-free (mean Constant score pain scale, 15 points) with good shoulder function (relative Constant score, 84% to 108%). A total of 26 patients (90%) rated their functional outcome as good or very good, and 3 patients (10%) rated it as fair. The mean relative Constant score was 97% (range, 61% to 108%), the mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score was 92 points (range, 56 to 100 points), and the mean Western Ontario Shoulder Instability index score was 126 points (range, 0 to 660 points). All patients returned to full-time work.

Conclusions

Nonoperative treatment of anterior glenoid rim fractures following primary traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation results in excellent clinical outcomes with a very low rate of residual instability and, thus, treatment failure. Asymptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis occurred in roughly 1 of 4 patients.

Level of Evidence

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Abstract

Primary traumatic anterior shoulder dislocations can be associated with displaced anterior glenoid rim fractures. Nonoperative treatment of such fractures has been shown to have excellent results in a small cohort of patients; as such, we have been treating these fractures nonoperatively, regardless of fragment size and degree of displacement, provided that post-reduction computed tomography scans revealed an anteroposteriorly centered humeral head. The aim of this study was to analyze the medium- to long-term results of nonoperative treatment of displaced anterior glenoid rim fractures, assessing in particular the residual instability and development of osteoarthritis.

Methods

In a 2-center study, 30 patients with a mean age of 48 years (range, 29 to 67 years) were evaluated clinically with use of the Subjective Shoulder Value, Constant score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, and Western Ontario Shoulder Instability index, as well as radiographically with use of radiographs and computed tomography scans at a mean follow-up of 9 years (range, 5 to 14 years).

Results

Fracture-healing was documented in all patients. Seven patients (23%) had post-fracture onset of osteoarthritis (5 with Samilson grade I and 2 with Samilson grade IV). Of these, 1 patient had recurrent instability that was successfully treated with hemiarthroplasty 9 years after the index injury (relative Constant score, 101%), and was excluded from further analysis. No other patient had a recurrent redislocation, subluxation, or positive apprehension. The other 6 patients with new-onset radiographic osteoarthritis were pain-free (mean Constant score pain scale, 15 points) with good shoulder function (relative Constant score, 84% to 108%). A total of 26 patients (90%) rated their functional outcome as good or very good, and 3 patients (10%) rated it as fair. The mean relative Constant score was 97% (range, 61% to 108%), the mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score was 92 points (range, 56 to 100 points), and the mean Western Ontario Shoulder Instability index score was 126 points (range, 0 to 660 points). All patients returned to full-time work.

Conclusions

Nonoperative treatment of anterior glenoid rim fractures following primary traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation results in excellent clinical outcomes with a very low rate of residual instability and, thus, treatment failure. Asymptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis occurred in roughly 1 of 4 patients.

Level of Evidence

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:23 December 2020
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 16:09
Last Modified:22 Feb 2021 16:10
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:2472-7245
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.OA.20.00133
PubMed ID:33376928

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