Multidirectional instability (MDI) of the shoulder is characterized by generalized shoulder capsular laxity and symptomatic shoulder instability in more than one direction with one direction of instability as inferior. Generalized ligamentous laxity and specifically shoulder laxity, has been associated with female athletes. While males are at a higher risk of shoulder instability due to a number of extrinsic risk factors including participation in higher risk contact/collision activities, females are particularly susceptible to MDI due to their association with increased joint laxity. Patients with MDI often have a loose patulous capsule and display altered glenohumeral and scapulothoracic mechanics. The mainstay of treatment is physical therapy focusing on strengthening the dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder. In cases of failed rehabilitation, operative management most frequently includes either open or arthroscopic capsular shift with reasonably good outcomes and return to sport. Sex-related differences concerning shoulder instability risk and pathophysiology may influence treatment decisions and outcome measures. An understanding of the factors concerning shoulder instability specific to the female athlete is important in management and prevention of injury.
Recommended CitationBishop, Meghan E.; Patel, Heli; Erickson, Brandon J.; and Dodson, Christopher C., "Multidirectional instability in female athletes" (2022). Rothman Institute Faculty Papers. Paper 161.
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