Long-Term Independent Evaluation After Arthroscopic Extra-Articular Bankart Repair with Absorbable Tacks

Kartus, Catarina; Kartus, Jüri; Matis, Nicholas; Forstner, Rosemarie; Resch, Herbert
July 2007
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Jul2007, Vol. 89-A Issue 7, p1442
Academic Journal
Background: Several arthroscopic methods have been developed to treat posttraumatic recurrent anterior shoulder instability in an attempt to match the results that can be achieved with open repair. The aim of this study was to perform an independent long-term clinical and radiographic evaluation after extra-articular arthroscopic Bankart repair with use of absorbable tacks (Suretac fixators). Methods: Eighty-one consecutive patients with posttraumatic recurrent anterior shoulder instability underwent an extra-articular arthroscopic Bankart procedure. Seventy-one (88%) of the patients were reexamined physically after a median duration of follow-up of 107 months by two independent examiners and constituted the study group. Their clinical and radiographic outcomes were documented. Results: At the time of follow-up, twenty-seven (38%) of the seventy-one patients had experienced some kind of shoulder instability, although fifteen of them had had a new, clinically relevant shoulder injury. Eleven patients had had subluxation only, and sixteen had had redislocation. Fourteen of the twenty-seven patients had had a single episode of instability. Seven patients had undergone additional surgery to treat shoulder instability. The instability episodes occurred less than two years postoperatively in nine patients, between two and five years postoperatively in twelve, and more than five years postoperatively in six. At the time of final follow-up the median external rotation in abduction was 90° (range, 0° to 120°) compared with 95° (range, 70° to 125°) for the contralateral, uninjured shoulders (p <0.001). Before the injury, fifty-two patients (73%) participated in overhead or contact sports, whereas thirty-four patients (45%) participated in such activities at the time of follow-up. At the time of follow-up, the drill holes used to implant the absorbable tacks were invisible or hardly visible in fifty-eight (91%) of sixty-four patients for whom radiographs had been made. A marked increase in degenerative changes was noted when follow-up radiographs were compared with the preoperative radiographs. Conclusions: This long-term follow-up study of arthroscopic extra-articular Bankart repairs revealed an unexpectedly high number of patients with new episodes of instability. This finding led to a slight modification of the technique. Since most instability episodes occurred after two years, it is important to follow patients for a longer period of time after surgical treatment of recurrent anterior shoulder instability to identify the true recurrence rate. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


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