Generalized joint laxity and multidirectional instability of the shoulder

Maristella Francesca Saccomanno, Luigi Capasso, Gianpiero Cazzato, Giuseppe Milano, Mario Fodale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Generalized joint laxity and shoulder instability are common conditions that exhibit a wide spectrum of different clinical forms and may coexist in the same patient. Generalized joint laxity can be congenital or acquired. It is fundamental to distinguish laxity from instability. Laxity is a physiological condition that may predispose to the development of shoulder instability. A high prevalence of generalized joint laxity has been identified in patients with multidirectional instability of the shoulder. Multidirectional instability is defined as symptomatic instability in two or more directions. The diagnosis and treatment of this condition are still challenging because of complexities in its classification and etiology. These complexities are compounded when multidirectional instability and laxity exist in the same patient. With an improved understanding of the clinical symptoms and physical examination findings, a successful strategy for conservative and/or surgical treatments can be developed. Conservative treatment is the first-line option. If it fails, different surgical options are available. Historically, open capsular shift has been considered the gold standard in the surgical management of these patients. Nowadays, advanced arthroscopic techniques offer several advantages over traditional open approaches and have shown similar outcomes. The correct approach to the management of failed stabilization procedures has not been yet defined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • arthroscopy
  • generalized joint laxity
  • multidirectional instability
  • shoulder


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