Glenoid microfracture in active-duty military patients: minimum 5-year follow-up demonstrates 75% survival

John P. Scanaliato*, Alexis B. Sandler, Michael D. Baird, John C. Dunn, Jason Uhlinger, Nata Parnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: To present midterm patient-reported outcomes and survivorship data of active-duty military patients undergoing microfracture for full-thickness cartilage defects of the glenoid. Methods: All consecutive patients from January 2013 through December 2016 who underwent glenoid microfracture for full-thickness cartilage injuries with complete outcome scores were identified. Twenty patients met the final inclusion criteria for the study, and all were active-duty military at the time of surgery. A separate subgroup analysis was performed to determine if dominant-shoulder involvement portends worse outcomes. Results: The mean follow-up was 81.45 ± 19.43 months (range, 60-108). Of the 20 patients, 5 required a secondary surgical procedure within 5 years of their index procedure, with an average time to failure of 45.6 ± 13.15 months. For the 15 patients who did not fail, there was a statistically significant increase in the mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (57.20 vs. 88.27, P < .0001) and Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (45.00 vs. 86.33, P < .0001). Mean pain decreased significantly as measured by the pain visual analog scale (5.40 vs. 1.37, P < .0001). Range of motion in forward elevation, external rotation, and internal rotation did not change significantly postoperatively (P = .4528, .4810, and .1919, respectively). Concomitant procedures did not predict changes in pain, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, or Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation scores. A majority of patients (13/20, 65%) were able to remain on unrestricted military active-duty service, but 7 (35%) underwent medical discharge, including the 5 patients who had experienced treatment failure, plus 2 additional patients. Conclusion: Glenoid microfracture can result in pain relief and symptomatic improvement for a select group of active-duty military patients, with 75% survivorship at 5 years. Approximately one in three (35%) patients, however, were unable to remain on active-duty military service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJSES International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Case Series
  • Chondral defect
  • Chondral injury
  • Chondral lesion
  • Glenoid
  • Glenoid microfracture
  • Level IV
  • Microfracture
  • Military
  • Treatment Study


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