Management of Shoulder Instability in the Skeletally Immature Patient

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Several studies have focused on management of shoulder instability in the adolescent and young adult population. However, a paucity of literature exists regarding shoulder dislocation in the skeletally immature population. The presence of an open physis makes the dislocated pediatric shoulder a challenging clinical problem. In general, management includes prompt reduction and sling immobilization. In athletic patients aged ≥14 years with a Bankart lesion, early surgical intervention may be warranted because of the higher risk of recurrent instability. However, the literature on younger skeletally immature patients is less clear in terms of risk of further instability and the necessity of surgical intervention. In the skeletally immature population, a relatively low rate of recurrent instability after primary dislocation has been reported in the recent literature. Surgical intervention should be considered for patients with recurrent instability.

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