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Humeral Avulsion of Glenohumeral Ligaments

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 19, No 3, March 2011 Michael S. George, MD, Michael Khazzam, MD and John E. Kuhn, MD

Humeral avulsion of glenohumeral ligaments (HAGL) is an increasingly recognized cause of recurrent shoulder instability. HAGL lesions are the result of acute traumatic glenohumeral subluxation or dislocation. Anterior avulsion of the inferior glenohumeral ligament from the humeral neck is the more common lesion; however, posterior lesions are seen as well. Careful history and physical examination are critical in the diagnosis of HAGL lesions. MRI is the best imaging study for diagnosing these lesions. Injection of intra-articular contrast dye aids in visualization. Most HAGL lesions cause recurrent instability and require surgical repair. Arthroscopic repair with the use of accessory portals has yielded promising results. Excellent results have been achieved with open surgical management using a subscapularis incision. Mini-open techniques involve limited incision in the lower one half of the subscapularis.

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