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Management of Failed Surgery for Anterior Glenohumeral Instability: Synopsis of Clinical Evidence

Nahum Rosenberg and Kamal Hamoud

Abstract

Failed surgical treatment of anterior shoulder instability should be treated according to clinical principles similar to primary stabilization by addressing risk factors related to the damaged static glenohumeral stabilizers (labrum, capsule and its components, and bony damage to the humeral head and scapular glenoid). In relatively rare conditions when failed primary surgery involves patients with functionally low demands, conservative treatment by strengthening dynamic muscular stabilizers might be considered; otherwise, surgical revision should be strongly considered aimed at improving quality of life. Although the overall failure rate following primary and revision surgery is expected to be below 4%, it is clear that revision surgery is technically demanding. Therefore, the initial recognition and correction of the exact pathology causing glenohumeral instability is crucial to avoid failure of primary surgery and to facilitate the success of the revision procedure, if necessary.