Recurrent Anterior Shoulder Instability

  • Mary K. MulcaheyEmail author
  • John W. McNeilII
  • Matthew T. Provencher


The shoulder is the most commonly dislocating joint in the human body, often occurring in the anterior direction. Stability of the shoulder joint is provided by three primary mechanisms: (1) concavity compression, (2) compression of the humeral head onto the glenoid by the rotator cuff muscles, and (3) glenohumeral ligaments and capsule. With regard to instability, however, the more relevant anatomy includes the static and dynamic stabilizers of the glenohumeral joint. The static stabilizers consist of the bony anatomy, glenoid labrum, capsular ligaments, and the rotator interval, whereas the rotator cuff and the scapular stabilizers comprise the dynamic stabilizers. The glenoid labrum contributes to shoulder stability in several ways. It serves as an attachment point for the capsule and the surrounding ligamentous structures, effectively anchoring them to the glenoid. The labrum also contributes to the concavity-compression mechanism by increasing the concavity of the glenoid. Glenohumeral dislocation often results in soft tissue (e.g., labral tear, capsular stretching) or bony injuries (e.g., glenoid or humeral head bone loss) and is therefore frequently associated with persistent deficits of shoulder function and a high risk of subsequent instability episodes in young, active patients.


Rotator Cuff Humeral Head Shoulder Instability Magnetic Resonance Arthrography Rotator Interval 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary K. Mulcahey
    • 1
    Email author
  • John W. McNeilII
    • 2
  • Matthew T. Provencher
    • 3
  1. 1.San Diego Arthroscopy and Sports MedicineSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsNaval Medical Center, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of OrthopaedicsSports Medicine Service, Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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