Simultaneous Arthroscopic Glenohumeral Stabilization and Glenoid Microfracture in Young, Active-Duty Military Patients: Outcomes at 5-Year Follow-up

Clare K. Green*, John P. Scanaliato, Alexis B. Sandler, John C. Dunn, Emma Covillon, Nata Parnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Glenohumeral instability represents a common cause of shoulder pain and disability among active-duty members of the military and is associated with the development of glenoid osteochondral defects. Purpose: To report clinical outcomes and survivorship after combined microfracture of isolated chondral lesions of the glenoid and labral repair among young, active-duty military patients and to compare outcomes with those of patients who underwent isolated shoulder stabilization. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Included were 31 active-duty military patients aged <40 years who underwent simultaneous microfracture of chondral lesions of the glenoid and labral repair for shoulder instability between January 2011 and January 2017 (microfracture group) and 209 patients without chondral defects who underwent shoulder stabilization during the same time period (instability group). Preoperative and 5-year postoperative outcomes (range of motion [ROM], visual analog scale [VAS] for pain, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation [SANE] score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons [ASES] shoulder score, and Rowe instability score) were compared within and between groups, and separate subgroup analyses were performed to determine whether variant of instability and dominant-shoulder involvement were associated with worse outcomes. Results: The mean follow-up was significantly longer for the microfracture group versus the instability group (95.58 ± 23.12 vs 83.38 ± 25.93 months; P =.014). Age and sex distributions were similar between groups. In both groups, there was significant pre- to postoperative improvement on all outcomes scores (P =.0001 for all). When compared with the instability cohort, microfracture patients had significantly worse postoperative VAS pain (2.65 ± 1.78 vs 1.55 ± 1.92; P =.003), SANE (79.13 ± 14.43 vs 91.23 ± 13.20; P <.0001), and ASES (79.90 ± 13.87 vs 89.03 ± 14.28; P =.001) scores, as well as decreased ROM in forward flexion (151.29° ± 11.76° vs 155.48° ± 10.3°; P =.039) and external rotation (63.65° ± 8.34° vs 65.17° ± 0.64°; P =.010). At latest follow-up, 58% of microfracture patients had returned to active-duty military service compared with 93.78% of isolated instability patients (P <.0001). Conclusion: Combined microfracture and arthroscopic labral repair produced modest, albeit statistically significant, improvements in patient-reported outcome measures and may be a reasonable treatment option for patients with chondral lesions who are not candidates for arthroplasty. However, microfracture patients had significantly worse outcomes than patients who underwent stabilization without concomitant chondral defects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • glenoid OCD
  • instability
  • labral repair
  • microfracture
  • military


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