The Hill-Sachs Lesion: Diagnosis, Classification, and Management

J Am Acad Orthop Surg April 2012 Matthew T. Provencher, Abstract

The Hill-Sachs lesion is an osseous defect of the humeral head that is typically associated with anterior shoulder instability. The incidence of these lesions in the setting of glenohumeral instability is relatively high and approaches 100% in persons with recurrent anterior shoulder instability. Reverse Hill-Sachs lesion has been described in patients with posterior shoulder instability. Glenoid bone loss is typically associated with the Hill-Sachs lesion in patients with recurrent anterior shoulder instability. The lesion is a bipolar injury, and identification of concomitant glenoid bone loss is essential to optimize clinical outcome. Other pathology (eg, Bankart tear, labral or capsular injuries) must be identified, as well. Treatment is dictated by subjective and objective findings of shoulder instability and radiographic findings. Nonsurgical management, including focused rehabilitation, is acceptable in cases of small bony defects and nonengaging lesions in which the glenohumeral joint remains stable during desired activities. Surgical options include arthroscopic and open techniques.

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