Effect of Posterior Glenoid Bone Loss and Retroversion on Arthroscopic Posterior Glenohumeral Stabilization

Jared A. Wolfe, Michael Elsenbeck, Kyle Nappo, Daniel Christensen, Robert Waltz, Lance LeClere, Jonathan F. Dickens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Posterior glenohumeral instability is an increasingly recognized cause of shoulder instability, but little is known about the incidence or effect of posterior glenoid bone loss. Purpose: To determine the incidence, characteristics, and failure rate of posterior glenoid deficiency in shoulders undergoing isolated arthroscopic posterior shoulder stabilization. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: All patients undergoing isolated posterior labral repair and glenoid-based capsulorrhaphy with suture anchors between 2008 and 2016 at a single institution were identified. Posterior bone deficiency was calculated per the best-fit circle method along the inferior two-thirds of the glenoid by 2 independent observers. Patients were divided into 2 groups: minimal (0%-13.5%) and moderate (>13.5%) posterior bone loss. The primary outcome was reoperation for any reason. The secondary outcomes were military separation and placement on permanent restricted duty attributed to the operative shoulder. Results: A total of 66 shoulders met the inclusion criteria, with 10 going on to reoperation after a median follow-up of 16 months (range, 14-144 months). Of the total shoulders, 86% (57/66) had ≤13.5% bone loss and 14% (9/66) had >13.5%. Patients with moderate posterior glenoid bone loss had significantly greater retroversion (−11.5° vs −4.3°; P =.01). Clinical failure requiring reoperation was seen in 10.5% of patients in the minimal bone deficiency group and 44.4% in the moderate group (P =.024). There was no difference between groups in rate of military separation or restricted duty. Patients with moderate posterior glenoid bone deficiency were more likely to be experiencing instability instead of pain on initial presentation (P <.001), were more likely to have a positive Jerk test result (P =.05), and had increased glenoid retroversion (P =.01). Conclusion: In shoulders with moderate glenoid bone deficiency (>13.5%) and increased glenoid retroversion, posterior capsulolabral repair alone may result in higher reoperation rates than in shoulders without bone deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2621-2627
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • glenoid bone loss
  • glenoid retroversion
  • labral tear
  • posterior shoulder instability


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