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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


The Hill-Sachs lesion is a bony defect of the humeral head that occurs in association with anterior instability of the glenohumeral joint. Hill-Sachs lesions are common, with an incidence approaching nearly 100% in the setting of recurrent anterior glenohumeral instability. However, the indications for surgical management are very limited, with less than 10% of anterior instability patients considered for treatment of the Hill-Sachs lesion. Of utmost importance is addressing bone loss on the anterior-inferior glenoid, which is highly successful at preventing recurrence of instability even with humeral bone loss. In the rare situation where the Hill-Sachs lesion may continue to engage the glenoid, surgical management is indicated. Surgical strategies are variable, including debridement, arthroscopic remplissage, allograft transplantation, surface replacement, and arthroplasty. Given that the population with these defects is typically comprised of young and athletic patients, biologic solutions are most likely to be associated with decades of sustainable joint preservation, function, and stability. The first priority is maximizing the treatment of anterior instability on the glenoid side. Then, small lesions of less than 10% are ignored without consequence. Lesions involving 10–20% of the humeral head are treated with arthroscopic remplissage (defect filled with repair of capsule and infraspinatus). Lesions greater than 20% that extend beyond the glenoid tract are managed with fresh osteochondral allografts to biologically restore the humeral head. Lesions great than 40% are most commonly associated with advanced arthritis and deformity of the humeral articular surface and are therefore treated with a humeral head replacement. This treatment algorithm maximises our ability to stabilise and preserve the glenohumeral joint.