Open reduction of old unreduced anterior shoulder dislocations: a case series including 10 patients

  • Orhan AkinciEmail author
  • Cemil Kayali
  • Yavuz Akalin
Original Article



Old unreduced dislocations are extremely rare. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the outcomes of old unreduced shoulder dislocations treated by open reduction.


Ten patients with anterior dislocations (four men, six women) were included in the study. The mean age was 39.7 years (range, 17–66). The duration of the dislocations ranged from 45 to 92 days (mean = 63.5). Closed reduction was not attempted in any of the patients. Deltopectoral approach was used as the surgical procedure. Fibrotic tissues were removed from the glenoid cavity. Seven patients had low grade degenerative labral lesions, which did not require debridement or any other attempt. K wires were used for the stabilization of the joints. The wires were passed between the acromion and the humerus in 4 patients and between the humerus and the glenoid fossa in 6 patients.


The mean follow-up period was 8.2 years (range, 4–12). No re-dislocations and wound infections or complications related to surgery occurred were noted. Significant improvement was observed in range of motion of shoulder between the preoperative and the last visit measurements (P < 0.05). Clinical evaluation was carried out by using Rowe and Zarins criteria. We found 5 excellent, 4 good, and 1 poor results.


Although it is under debate whether old unreduced shoulder dislocations require surgical treatment, our results showed that open reduction offers satisfactory functional outcomes.


Shoulder Old dislocation Anterior Open reduction 


Conflict of interest statement

None of the authors of this manuscript has received or will receive any type of support, funding, or benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tepecik Education and Research HospitalSecond Orthopaedics and Traumatology ClinicIzmirTurkey

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