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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-08-518
Review Article

Management of Mid‐season Traumatic Anterior Shoulder Instability in Athletes

Owens, Brett D. MD; Dickens, Jonathan F. MD; Kilcoyne, Kelly G. MD; Rue, John‐Paul H. MD

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Abstract

Shoulder dislocation and subluxation injuries are common in young athletes and most frequently occur during the competitive season. Controversy exists regarding optimal treatment of an athlete with an in‐season shoulder dislocation, and limited data are available to guide treatment. Rehabilitation may facilitate return to sport within 3 weeks, but return is complicated by a moderate risk of recurrence. Bracing may reduce the risk of recurrence, but it restricts motion and may not be tolerated in patients who must complete certain sport‐specific tasks such as throwing. Surgical management of shoulder dislocation or subluxation with arthroscopic or open Bankart repair reduces the rate of recurrence; however, the athlete is unable to participate in sport for the remainder of the competitive season. When selecting a management option, the clinician must consider the natural history of shoulder instability, pathologic changes noted on examination and imaging, sport‐ and position‐specific demands, duration of treatment, and the athlete's motivation.

© 2012 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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