Hombro y codo

The ‘Holy Grail’ of shoulder dislocations: a systematic review on traumatic bilateral luxatio erecta; is it in reality a once-in-a-lifetime experience for an orthopaedic surgeon?




Even though shoulder dislocation is thought to be the most common dislocation treated in the Emergency Department, inferior ones, known as Luxatio Erecta, comprise only 0.5% of them. Taking into consideration the rareness of unilateral Luxatio Erecta, bilateral cases should be even fewer.

The purpose of this paper is to identify the reported number of cases of Traumatic Bilateral Luxatio Erecta in the literature over the last 100 years and to summarize the mechanism of injury, the initial management, and the complications of these patients.

Materials and methods

We performed a systematic review of the literature regarding Traumatic Bilateral Luxatio Erecta. All articles published until 31st of December 2022 in PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched using the terms “luxatio erecta”, ‘inferior dislocation”, and “bilateral”.


Eighty-two articles were retrieved from PubMed and Google Scholar search. Forty-four of them were initially included in our review. Six additional articles meeting the inclusion criteria were found from cross-references.


The presence of this injury is extremely rare with only 51 cases in the literature. The incidence of concomitant injuries and complications seems to be extremely high and neurological deficits were detected on 42.8% of patients with Bilateral Luxatio Erecta. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of the literature regarding Traumatic Bilateral Luxatio Erecta that includes articles not only in English, a fact that provides more reliability on the estimation of the real number of cases of this rare injury compared to any other review on this subject to date.

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