Open and arthroscopic posterior bone block with iliac crest autograft for posterior shoulder instability – systematic review of clinical and radiological outcomes

Abu Z. Saeed, Nikhil Pandit, Robert W. Jordan, Hubert Laprus, Peter D'Alessandro, Ian K.Y. Lo, Shahbaz S. Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Posterior shoulder instability (PSI) is a rare and challenging pathology to manage. The aim of this review was to assess and compare whether open and arthroscopic iliac crest bone graft (ICBG) bone block procedures succeeded in improving functional and clinical outcomes as well as radiological outcomes of union and graft resorption. Hypothesis: We hypothesised that there will be no difference in recurrence rate and functional outcome between open and arthroscopic procedures but there will be a higher complication rate with open bone block procedures. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines using the online databases MEDLINE and Embase. The review was registered on the PROSPERO database. Studies of open or arthroscopic ICBG bone block procedures reporting patient reported outcome measures, recurrence, complications and progression to osteoarthritis and radiological outcomes of graft union and resorption were selected. Studies were appraised using the Methodical index for non-randomised studies (MINORS) tool. Results: 14 studies satisfied the inclusion criteria; five studies were arthroscopic and nine used open techniques. A total of 183 patients and 201 shoulders were included, mean age was 25 years range (14–75 years). Recurrent instability ranged from 0% to 12.5% for arthroscopic and 0% to 36.4% for open studies. Arthroscopic studies had statistically significant increases in numerous functional outcome scores but there was no evidence for similar improvements in open studies. Osteoarthritis at follow-up ranged from 12.5% to 47% in arthroscopic and 0% to 81.8% for open studies. Arthroscopic complication rate ranged from 6.7% to 75% compared to 0% to 80% for open studies. Majority of complications were metalware related requiring surgical intervention. Partial graft resorption ranged from 7.7–100% after arthroscopic and 4.8–100% after open procedures. High union rates were seen with both open and arthroscopic techniques. Conclusion: This study highlights a lack of high-level evidence for arthroscopic and open posterior bone block procedures using ICBG to manage PSI. Functional and instability outcome scores showed significant improvement with arthroscopic ICBG bone block procedures however limited evidence was available for open studies. Metalwork related complications requiring revision and radiographic progression to osteoarthritis was high in both arthroscopic and open studies. Level of evidence: IV, systematic review.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103424
JournalOrthopaedics and Traumatology: Surgery and Research
Issue number4
Early online date28 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


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