Surgical treatment for recurrent shoulder instability: factors influencing surgeon decision making uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: The optimal surgical approach for recurrent anterior shoulder instability remains controversial, particularly in the face of glenoid and/or humeral bone loss. The purpose of this study was to use a contingent-behavior questionnaire (CBQ) to determine which factors drive surgeons to perform bony procedures over soft tissue procedures to address recurrent anterior shoulder instability. METHODS: A CBQ survey presented each respondent with 32 clinical vignettes of recurrent shoulder instability that contained 8 patient factors. The factors included¬†(1) age, (2) sex, (3) hand dominance, (4) number of previous dislocations, (5) activity level, (6) generalized laxity, (7) glenoid bone loss, and (8) glenoid track. The survey was distributed to fellowship-trained surgeons in shoulder/elbow or sports medicine. Respondents were asked to recommend either a soft tissue or bone-based procedure, then specifically recommend a type of procedure. Responses were analyzed using a multinomial-logit regression model that quantified the relative importance of the patient characteristics in choosing bony procedures. RESULTS: Seventy orthopedic surgeons completed the survey, 33 were shoulder/elbow fellowship trained and 37 were sports medicine fellowship trained; 52% were in clinical practice ‚Č•10 years and 48% <10 years; and 95% reported that the shoulder surgery made up at least 25% of their practice. There were 53% from private practice, 33% from academic medicine, and 14% in government settings. Amount of glenoid bone loss was the single most important factor driving surgeons to perform bony procedures over soft tissue procedures, followed by the patient age (19-25 years) and the patient activity level. The number of prior dislocations and glenoid track status did not have a strong influence on respondents' decision making. Twenty-one percent glenoid bone loss was the threshold of bone loss that influenced decision toward a bony procedure. If surgeons performed 10 or more open procedures per year, they were more likely to perform a bony procedure. CONCLUSION: The factors that drove surgeons to choose bony procedures were the amount of glenoid bone loss with the threshold at 21%, patient age, and their activity demands. Surprisingly, glenoid track status and the number of previous dislocations did not strongly influence surgical treatment decisions. Ten open shoulder procedures a year seems to provide a level of comfort to recommend bony treatment for shoulder instability.

publication date

  • 2021