Chronic Glenohumeral Dislocation

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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons July 2008, Volume 16, Issue 7 Deenesh T. Sahajpal, MD, FRCSC and Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD The evaluation and management of chronic glenohumeral dislocations can be challenging. By definition, chronic glenohumeral dislocations represent injuries that were not identified at the time of injury. Therefore, the primary goal is to avoid circumstances in which these injuries are not recognized. This includes undertaking a comprehensive clinical evaluation as well as appropriate imaging studies to understand the pathoanatomic changes—specifically, the humeral head impression fracture and any associated glenoid changes. The size of the impression fracture and duration of the dislocation are important factors in determining the appropriate treatment approach. Satisfactory outcomes can be achieved by using a variety of techniques, including open reduction combined with tendon transfers, allograft reconstruction, disimpaction and bone grafting and prosthetic replacement. Equally important, however, is recognizing patients in whom successful outcomes can be achieved with nonsurgical management.

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