Department of Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Patras University Hospital, Patras, Greece
Failure of closed manipulative reduction of an acute anterior shoulder dislocation is seldom reported in the literature and is usually due to structural blocks such as soft tissue entrapment (biceps, subscapularis, labrum), bony fragments (glenoid, greater tuberosity) and severe head impaction (Hill-Sachs lesion).
We present a case of an irreducible anterior shoulder dislocation in a 57-year-old male patient after a road-traffic accident. He had severe impaction of the head underneath glenoid rim and associated fracture of the greater tuberosity. Closed reduction performed in the emergency room under sedation and later at the theatre under general anaesthesia was unsuccessful. Open reduction using the dectopectoral approach revealed that the reason for obstruction was the posterolateral entrapment of the biceps tendon between the humeral head and the tuberosity fragment. Reduction was achieved after subscapularis tenotomy and opening of the joint; the tuberosity fragment was fixed with transosseous sutures and the long head of the biceps tendon was tenodesized. The patient had an uneventful postoperative recovery and at his last follow up, 12 months postoperatively, he had a stable joint, full range of motion and a Constant score of 90.
A comprehensive literature review revealed 22 similar reports affecting a total of 30 patients. Interposition of the LHBT alone or in combination with greater tuberosity fracture was the most common obstacle to reduction, followed by subscapularis tendon interposition and other less common reasons. Early surgical intervention with open reduction and confrontation of associated injuries is mandatory for a successful outcome.
Keywords: Irreducible, Anterior, Shoulder dislocation, Long head of biceps, Greater tuberosity fracture, Open reduction.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Patras University Hospital, Papanikolaou 1, Rio, Patras 26504, Greece; Tel: +302613603883; Mob: +306944363624; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org