General FAQs

scapula movement felt pen medial close up view

What is the risk of dislocation?

About 1-2% of people will have a shoulder dislocation during their lifetime, mostly due to trauma.

Young men (20-30 years) are the most common dislocators, although in the elderly population, females out-rank males by about 3:1.

What is the lifetime risk of re-dislocation?

The recurrence rate is about 50%, although almost all those who dislocate between the ages of 14-20 will have a recurrence.

Age is a major factor in likelihood of recurrence:

<20 years: recurrence rate 80-94%. Bankart’s lesion and its association with inferior glenohumeral ligament damage appears to be the major factor contributing to the high recurrent rates seen in this group.

20>40 years: recurrence rate 26% – 48%.  The major pathology in this group is disruption of the labral attachment of the glenohumeral ligaments.

>40 years: recurrence rate 0-10%. The major pathology in this group is tears of the rotator cuff.

Recurrence also alters according to associated injuries. Greater tuberosity fractures are associated with lower rates of recurrence (4.5%), whereas both Bankart’s and Hill Sachs lesions are strongly associated with recurrence.

Finally a low degree of trauma producing dislocation is associated with high recurrence rates (86%).

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