Allografts in the Treatment of Athletic Injuries of the Shoulder

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As allogeneic musculoskeletal tissue is readily available, has minimal limitation in size or shape, and carries no donor site morbidity, it has become attractive for use in reconstructive shoulder surgery. Allograft is a viable option for treating osseous defects associated with glenohumeral instability and has been shown to achieve a stable shoulder with good clinical outcomes. Although there are mixed results on the use of allograft as rotator cuff augments or substitutes, new commercially processed materials such as GraftJacket are being tested to address the high failure rates associated with massive rotator cuff repair. Interposition arthroplasty as a treatment for glenohumeral arthritis in the young and active patient is a novel concept in which the arthritic glenoid is biologically resurfaced. Satisfactory results have been described using lateral meniscus and Achilles tendon allograft. Despite the promising reports on the use of allograft in reconstructive shoulder surgery, most of the published literature exists as retrospective, case reports. Additional large, controlled research is needed to prove the efficacy and safety of allograft tissue in the treatment of athletic injuries of the shoulder.

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