The Epidemiology and Natural History of Anterior Shoulder Instability

Joseph W. Galvin, Justin J. Ernat, Brian R. Waterman, Monica J. Stadecker, Stephen A. Parada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to outline the natural history and best clinical practices for nonoperative management of anterior shoulder instability. Recent Findings: Recent studies continue to demonstrate a role for nonoperative treatment in the successful long-term management of anterior glenohumeral instability. The success of different positions of shoulder immobilization is reviewed as well. Summary: There are specific patients who may be best treated with nonoperative means after anterior glenohumeral instability. There are also patients who are not good nonoperative candidates based on a number of factors that are outlined in this review. There continues to be no definitive literature regarding the return to play of in-season athletes. Successful management requires a thorough understanding of the epidemiology, pathoanatomy, history, physical examination, diagnostic imaging modalities, and natural history of operative and nonoperative treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-424
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior glenohumeral instability
  • Anterior shoulder instability
  • Natural history
  • Nonoperative instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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