International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 2891–2895 | Cite as

Ocular surface injury after shoulder surgery in the beach-chair position

  • Jung Youn Kim
  • Yong Girl RheeEmail author
Original Paper



During shoulder surgery in the beach-chair position, head fixation can sometimes cause rare complications. The authors share their experience in treating ocular injury due to improper head fixation during surgery in the beach-chair position.


The study investigated consecutively 6075 patients who underwent shoulder surgery in the beach-chair position between March 2007 and March 2016, those patients who saw an ophthalmologist with a complaint of post-operative ocular discomfort. In the beach-chair position, surgery is performed with the patient’s upper body raised by 70°.


A total of seven patients saw an ophthalmologist due to post-operative ocular discomfort, and a total of five patients (0.082%) had corneal abrasion. Three of these patients underwent arthroscopic surgery, and the other two underwent open surgery. The mean surgery duration for the five patients was 45.0 ± 14.68 minutes. Of these patients, four were male and one was female, and their average age was 46 ± 22.24 years (range: 18–69 years). All patients complained of unbearable ophthalmodynia immediately after surgery that was not resolved using analgesics. The ophthalmodynia resolved immediately after wearing corneal protective lenses.


Unlike typical surgery, when shoulder surgery is performed in the beach-chair position, there is a risk of ocular surface injury due to improper head fixation; one manifestation of this problem is corneal injury. If a severe ophthalmodynia that cannot be controlled using analgesics occurs immediately after surgery in the beach-chair position, a corneal injury should be suspected, and the patient should wear a corneal protective lens.

Level of evidence

Level IV


Shoulder Complication Beach-chair position Ocular surface injury Corneal abrasion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kangnam Sacred Heart HospitalHallym University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Shoulder & Elbow Clinic, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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