Published online Dec 18, 2015. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i11.927
Peer-review started: June 3, 2015
First decision: July 3, 2015
Revised: July 29, 2015
Accepted: October 20, 2015
Article in press: October 27, 2015
Published online: December 18, 2015
Posterior instability of the shoulder is becoming an increasingly recognized shoulder injury in the athletic population. Diagnostic elements, such as etiology, directionality, and degree of instability are essential factors to assess in the unstable athletic shoulder. Concomitant injuries and associated pathologic lesions continue to be a significant challenge in the surgical management of posterior shoulder instability. Return to sport and previous level of play is ultimately the goal for every committed athlete and surgeon, thus subpopulations of athletes should be recognized as distinct entities requiring unique diagnostic, functional outcome measures, and surgical approaches.
Core tip: This article focuses on important posterior shoulder instability diagnostic criteria, effects of concomitant injuries, discussion of variations in athletic subpopulations and effects of return to sport, surgical management and advantages of arthroscopic vs open techniques.