Purpose: Age at primary dislocation, recurrence, and glenoid bone loss are associated with development of osteoarthritis (OA). However, an overview of OA following traumatic anterior shoulder instability is lacking and it is unclear to what degree type of surgery is associated with development of OA in comparison to non-operative treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the degree of OA at long-term follow-up after non-operative and operative treatments for patients with anterior shoulder instability. Surgery is indicated when patients experience recurrence and this is associated with OA; therefore, it was hypothesized that shoulders show a higher proportion or degree of OA following operative treatment compared to non-operative treatment. Methods: A literature search was performed in the PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. Articles reporting the degree of OA that was assessed with the Samilson–Prieto or Buscayret OA classification method after non-operative and operative treatment for anterior shoulder instability with a minimum of 5 years follow-up were included. Results: Thirty-six articles met the eligibility criteria of which 1 reported the degree of OA for non-operative treatment and 35 reported the degree of OA for 9 different operative procedures. A total of 1832 patients (1854 shoulders) were included. OA proportions of non-operative and operative treatments are similar at any point of follow-up. The Latarjet procedure showed a lower degree of OA compared to non-operative treatment and the other operative procedures, except for the Bristow procedure and Rockwood capsular shift. The meta-analyses showed comparable development of OA over time among the treatment options. An increase in OA proportion was observed when comparing the injured to the contralateral shoulder. However, a difference between the operative subgroups was observed in neither analysis. Conclusion: Non-operative and operative treatments show similar OA proportions at any point of follow-up. The hypothesis that shoulders showed a higher proportion or degree of OA following operative treatment compared to non-operative treatment is not supported by the data. Operative treatment according to the Latarjet procedure results in a lower degree of OA compared to other treatments, including non-operative treatment. Level of evidence: IV.
- Anterior shoulder instability
- Stabilization surgery