Thermal capsulorraphy: What it is and what it ain't

Julie Bishop, Evan L. Flatow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal capsulorrhaphy has quickly developed into a commonly used technique for treating shoulder instability. However, recent arthroscopic advances as well as reports of results and complications of thermal capsulorrhaphy have diminished its role. It can be used as an adjunct to an arthroscopic instability repair or possibly to treat the micro-instability that can be associated with superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) tears or internal impingement. It should not be used as the sole technique for patients with true multidirectional instability or frank dislocations. Complications can and do occur, including capsular necrosis, axillary neuritis, residual stiffness, and failure of the procedure leading to recurrent instability. In short, thermal capsulorrhaphy does have a limited role in shoulder surgery, but further investigation is needed to truly know the best indications for this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Arthroplasty
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


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