Risk Factors for Glenoid Bone Loss in the Setting of Posterior Glenohumeral Instability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine








glenoid bone loss; posterior instability; shoulder arthroscopy; shoulder stabilization


BACKGROUND: Posterior instability has been reported to account for up to 24% of cases of shoulder instability in certain active populations. However, there is a paucity of data available regarding the risk factors associated with posterior glenoid bone loss. PURPOSE: To characterize the epidemiology of, and risk factors associated with, glenoid bone loss within a cohort of patients who underwent primary arthroscopic shoulder stabilization for isolated posterior-type glenohumeral instability. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent primary arthroscopic shoulder stabilization for posterior-type instability between January 2011 and December 2019. Preoperative magnetic resonance arthrograms were used to calculate posterior glenoid bone loss using a perfect circle technique. Patient characteristics and revision rates were obtained. Bone loss (both in millimeters and as a percentage) was compared between patients based on sex, age, arm dominance, sports participation, time to surgery, glenoid version, history of trauma, and number of anchors used for labral repair. RESULTS: Included were 112 patients with a mean age of 28.66 ± 10.07 years; 91 patients (81.25%) were found to have measurable bone loss. The mean bone loss was 2.46 ± 1.68 mm (8.98% ± 6.12%). Significantly greater bone loss was found in athletes versus nonathletes (10.09% ± 6.86 vs 7.44% ± 4.56; = .0232), female versus male patients (11.17% ± 6.53 vs 8.17% ± 5.80; = .0212), and patients dominant arm involvement versus nondominant arm involvement (10.26% ± 5.63 vs 7.07% ± 6.38; = .0064). Multivariate regression analysis identified dominant arm involvement as an independent risk factor for bone loss ( = .0033), and dominant arm involvement ( = .0024) and athlete status ( = .0133) as risk factors for bone loss >13.5%. At the conclusion of the study period, 7 patients had experienced recurrent instability (6.25%). CONCLUSION: The findings of this study are in alignment with existing data suggesting that posterior glenoid bone loss is highly prevalent in patients undergoing primary arthroscopic stabilization for posterior-type shoulder instability. Our results suggest that patients with dominant arm involvement are at risk for greater posterior glenoid bone loss. Athlete status and dominant arm involvement were identified as independent risk factors for bone loss >13.5%.


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