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Management of Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder

Trevor R. Gaskill JAAOS December 2011;19 (12) Abstract

Multidirectional shoulder instability is defined as symptomatic instability in two or more directions. Instability occurs when static and dynamic shoulder stabilizers become incompetent due to congenital or acquired means. Nonspecific activity-related pain and decreased athletic performance are common presenting complaints. Clinical suspicion for instability is essential for timely diagnosis. Several examination techniques can be used to identify increased glenohumeral translation. It is critical to distinguish increased laxity from instability. Initial management begins with therapeutic rehabilitation. If surgical management is required, capsular plication has been used successfully. Advanced arthroscopic techniques offer several advantages over traditional open approaches and may have similar outcomes. The role of rotator interval capsular plication is controversial, but it may be used to augment capsular plication in patients with specific patterns of instability. Despite encouraging results, outcomes remain inferior to those associated with traumatic unidirectional instability.

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