[Subnormal functional activity in a neglected posterior dislocation of the shoulder]

Published online: Sep 27 1998

D Ghafil, and P Putz.

Hôpital Universitaire Brugmann, Bruxelles, Belgique.


The incidence of posterior shoulder dislocation ranges between 2 and 5% of glenohumeral dislocations. The mechanisms most frequently involved are trauma, grand-mal seizures and electrocutions. This lesion remains a diagnostic trap, due to paucity or even lack of clinical signs, and to the apparent normality of the anteroposterior radiograph of the shoulder. Nevertheless, careful clinical examination and an axillary radiograph often allow for a correct diagnosis. We report a case of traumatic posterior dislocation, unnoticed for 7 weeks. A satisfactory functional adaption of the dislocated shoulder to everyday life and the general condition of the patient lead us to select the notreatment option.