Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Shoulder Dislocation -- rehabilitation


Increasingly shoulder dislocations and instabilities are being recognized among athletes as a common disabling condition in the health care setting today.

Dislocations of the shoulder represent approximately 50% of all major joint dislocations. Of these shoulder dislocations, 95% are anterior dislocations. After a primary anterior dislocation, recurrence of dislocation occurs in 90% to 95% of patients in their mid 20s or younger. A high percentage of these injuries occur in repetitive athletic activities in which large forces and high velocities are produced, such as hockey, football, and baseball.

Consequently with the recognition of instability as the primary etiological factor for many forms of shoulder dysfunction syndromes, an accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment plan of shoulder disability in a group of athletes can be facilitated.

The purpose of this study is to review the literature to describe the mechanisms of injury and factors promoting recurrent dislocations, review common surgical interventions, present a treatment protocol devised for athletes with recurrent anterior dislocation of the glenohumeral joint, and compare rehabilitation protocols following a Bristow surgical repair procedure to a Bankart repair protocol. This type of literature review will provide updated information on clinical implications of recurrent anterior dislocations and outline the differences in rehabilitation protocols following surgery. This information will be of value for physical therapists treating patients with this diagnosis. By knowing the anatomy involved in the various surgical procedures and the treatment protocol for the particular surgery performed on the patient, physical therapists can effectively provide treatment.