03.10.2017 | Review Article
Traumatic inferior shoulder dislocation: a review of management and outcome
Mithun Nambiar, David Owen, Peter Moore, Ashley Carr, Malcolm Thomas
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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Traumatic inferior shoulder dislocation (ISD) is rare, estimated to occur in 0.5% of all shoulder dislocations. We describe the demographics, natural history and outcome of this injury.
The aim of the study is to provide a summary of the demographics, clinical presentation, management and outcome of patients who suffer ISD
We conducted a systematic review of the English language literature on ISD using PubMed, Medline, CINHAL, Cochrane Database and Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews. Articles were examined independently by two of the authors and data were extracted using a standard form. Descriptive statistics were performed.
199 patients were identified, from 101 articles. Mean age was 44 years (range 13–94 years). All cases were caused by trauma, with falls accounting for 44% of all cases. There were three reported cases (2%) of open dislocations and 29 cases (15%) of bilateral ISD. Proximal humerus and scapular fractures were reported in 39 and 8% of patients, respectively. Neurological injury after dislocation was noted in 58 patients (29%). Vascular injury was noted in 20 patients (10%), which included axillary arterial injury in 19 patients and an upper limb deep vein thrombosis in one patient. Follow-up data were available for 107 patients (54%), with an average duration of 2.7 years (1 week–32 years). Avascular necrosis (AVN) was noted between 8 weeks and 2 years after initial injury in three patients (1.5%).
Clinical and radiographic assessment of ISD is key to diagnosis and successful reduction. Patients can be treated with shoulder immobilisation for 2–3 weeks. In the setting of ongoing pain or instability, further imaging should be performed. The outcome of ISD is generally favourable.