Surgery vs. Physical Therapy for Shoulder Instability [Physical Therapist Guide] FPF Show Episode 126

By dpope2020

March 29, 2024

anterior shoulder instability, anterior shoulder instability test, apprehension test, dan pope, dislocated shoulder, fitness pain free, physical therapy, physiotherapy, physiotutors, posterior shoulder instability, Shoulder, shoulder dislocation, Shoulder instability, shoulder instability assessment, shoulder instability exercises, shoulder instability physical therapy, shoulder instability rehab, shoulder instability test, shoulder instability test youtube, Shoulder Pain

Surgery vs. Physical Therapy for Shoulder Instability [Physical Therapist Guide] FPF Show Episode 126

To go along with today's episode I have a nice infographic to share...

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In today's video we go over Surgery vs. Physical Therapy for Shoulder Instability [Physical Therapist Guide] FPF Show Episode 126: 

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:07 Research study introduction (Surgery vs. conservative care for shoulder instability)
  • 0:46 Why accurate decision making is imperative for these patients (and it goes against common knowledge)
  • 2:17 How fast do patients return to sport after shoulder dislocation?
  • 2:26 How common is a recurrence (another dislocation) in-season after a primary shoulder dislocation?
  • 3:21 What are the pros and cons of surgery vs. physical therapy?
  • 7:06 When should we consider physical therapy over surgery for patients with shoulder instability?
  • 15:49 When should you consider early surgery with patients with shoulder instability?
  • 19:14 Decision making algorithm for shoulder instability
  • 21:15 What happens if you don't have surgery for anterior instability? (17 year outcomes - pain, recurrence, osteoarthritis)

The age old question...


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  1. Owens BD, Dickens JF, Kilcoyne KG, Rue JP. Management of mid-season traumatic anterior shoulder instability in athletes. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2012 Aug;20(8):518-26. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-08-518. PMID: 22855854.

  2. Lemme NJ, O'Donnell R, Modest J, Quinn M, Owens BD. Management of Anterior Shoulder Instability for the In-Season Athlete. R I Med J (2013). 2020 Sep 1;103(7):30-36. PMID: 32872687.

  3. Novakofski KD, Melugin HP, Leland DP, Bernard CD, Krych AJ, Camp CL. Nonoperative management of anterior shoulder instability can result in high rates of recurrent instability and pain at long-term follow-up. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2022 Feb;31(2):352-358. doi: