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Open Capsulolabral Repair for Shoulder Instability

Open shoulder capsulolabral repair has been the gold standard for shoulder stabilization.  This technique has been supplanted by minimally invasive arthroscopic stabilization.  However, the arthroscopic approach may not be the best procedure for every patient with an unstable shoulder.  In many cases, where the patient has had a previous stabilization procedure, or there is a small amount of glenoid bone loss (subcritical bone loss), an open procedure may be more appropriate. 

In an open stabilization, a small incision is made in the front of the shoulder to expose the rotator cuff.  The rotator cuff is then opened to reveal the shoulder capsule and labrum.  The labrum can be repaired under direct visualization with strong mattress sutures, and the capsule can be lifted and tightened.  This provides a robust repair which can also tighten a capsule that has loosened up over time.  The rate of recurrent instability for open stabilization ranges from 5-10% versus 15-20% for arthroscopic procedures in high-risk groups such as young contact athletes.  If you have shoulder instability, contact our office at 323-442-5822 for an evaluation to determine if you would be a good candidate for open shoulder stabilization.

Author
Frank Petrigliano, MD Dr. Petrigliano s a highly skilled orthopaedic surgeon and a specialist in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Petrigliano is the chief of sports medicine at USC and head team physician for the LA Kings professional hockey team.

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