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Recurrent Instability Common After Shoulder Dislocation

Younger males at highest risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent instability and functional impairment are common after a shoulder dislocation, with younger males at higher risk, according to a report in the November issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

C. Michael Robinson, and colleagues from the New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the U.K., investigated recurrent instability and functional impairment in 252 patients aged 15 to 35 years following a primary glenohumeral dislocation treated with sling immobilization.

The researchers found that within two years, instability developed in 55.7 percent of shoulders along with some functional impairment in most patients. The percent with instability increased to 66.8 by the fifth year. The risk of instability was highest in younger male patients, according to the report. The authors note that clinical trials to examine therapies to reduce recurrent instability and improve functional outcome after dislocation would only require a relatively small number of patients.

"Recurrent instability and deficits of shoulder function are common after primary non-operative treatment of an anterior shoulder dislocation," Robinson and colleagues conclude. "There is substantial variation in the risk of instability, with younger males having the highest risk and females having a much lower risk."

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