Surgeon variation in glenoid bone reconstruction procedures for shoulder instability

PacWest Shoulder Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Advances in the understanding and management of glenoid bone loss in shoulder instability have led to the development of alternative bony reconstruction techniques to the Latarjet using free bone grafts, but little is known about surgeon adoption of these procedures. This study sought to characterize surgeon variation in the use of glenoid bone reconstruction procedures for shoulder instability and ascertain reasons underlying procedure choice. Methods: A 9-question survey was created and distributed to 160 shoulder surgeons members of the PacWest Shoulder and Elbow Society, of whom 65 (41%) responded. The survey asked questions regarding fellowship training, years in practice, surgical volume, preferred methods of glenoid bone reconstruction, and reasons underlying treatment choice. Results: All surgeons completed a fellowship, with an equal number of sports medicine fellowship–trained (46%) and shoulder and elbow fellowship–trained (46%) physicians. The majority had been in practice for at least 6 years (6-10 years: 25%; >10 years: 59%). Most (78%) performed ≤10 glenoid bony reconstructions per year, and 66% indicated that bony procedures represented <10% of their total annual shoulder instability case volume. The open Latarjet was the preferred primary reconstruction method (69%), followed by open free bone block (FBB) (22%), arthroscopic FBB (8%), and arthroscopic Latarjet (1%). Distal tibia allograft (DTA) was the preferred graft (74%) when performing an FBB procedure, followed by iliac crest autograft (18%), and distal clavicle autograft (6%). The top 5 reasons for preferring Latarjet over FBB were the sling effect (57%), the autologous nature of the graft (37%), its robust clinical evidence (22%), low cost (17%), and availability (11%). The top 5 reasons for choosing an FBB procedure were less anatomic disruption (58%), lower complication rate (21%), restoration of articular cartilage interface (16%), graft versatility (11%), and technical ease (11%). Only 20% of surgeons indicated always performing a bony glenoid reconstruction procedure in the noncontact athlete with less than 20% glenoid bone loss. However, that percentage rose to 62% when considering a contact athlete with the same amount of bone loss. Conclusions: Although open Latarjet continues to be the most popular glenoid bony primary reconstruction procedure in shoulder instability, nearly 30% of shoulder surgeons in the western United States have adopted FBB techniques as their preferred treatment modality––with DTA being the most frequently used graft. High-quality comparative clinical effectiveness research is needed to reduce decisional conflict and refine current evidence-based treatment algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Experts
  • Latarjet
  • Survey Study
  • allograft
  • autograft
  • free bone block
  • glenoid bone loss
  • reconstruction
  • shoulder instability


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