Background: There is a dearth of knowledge on anterior shoulder instability in older patients. Purpose/Hypothesis: The purposes of this study were to describe the incidence and epidemiology, injury characteristics, and treatment and outcomes in patients ≥50 years old with first-time anterior shoulder instability. We also describe the historical trends in diagnosis and treatment. It was hypothesized that the rates of obtaining a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and surgical intervention have increased over the past 20 years. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: An established geographic database was used to identify 179 patients older than 50 years who experienced new onset anterior shoulder instability between 1994 and 2016. Medical records were reviewed to obtain patient characteristics, imaging characteristics, and surgical treatment and outcomes, including recurrent instability. Comparative analysis was performed to identify differences between age groups. Mean follow-up time was 11 years. Results: The incidence of first-time anterior shoulder dislocation in our study population was 28.8 per 100,000 person-years, which is higher than previously reported. Full-thickness rotator cuff tears were found in 62% of the 66 patients who underwent MRI scans. Of all patients, 26% progressed to surgery at a mean time of 1.6 years after injury; 57% of all surgical procedures involved a rotator cuff repair, and 17% included anterior labral repair. All patients who underwent a labral repair also underwent concomitant rotator cuff repair. The rate of recurrent instability for the cohort was 15% at a median of 176 days after the initial instability event. There were no instances of recurrent instability after operative intervention. At an average of 7.5 years after the initial instability event, 14% of patients developed radiographic progression of glenohumeral arthritis. The rate of surgical intervention within 1 year of initial dislocation increased from 5.1% in 1994 to 1999 to 52% in 2015 to 2016. Conclusion: The incidence of first-time anterior shoulder instability in patients aged ≥50 years was 28.8 per 100,000 person-years. Full-thickness rotator cuff tears (62%) were the most common condition associated with anterior shoulder instability, followed by Hill-Sachs lesions (56%). The rate of recurrent instability for the entire cohort was 15%, with no instances of recurrent instability after operative intervention.
- anterior shoulder instability
- recurrent instability
- rotator cuff tear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine