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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec




Chronic Bilateral Symmetric Anterior Shoulder Dislocation Secondary to Seizures in Chikungunya Encephalitis.


Budhoo E, Mohammed SR, Baiju D, Corbin RE, Deane DR, Kassie P
Cureus. 2022 Dec; 14(12):e32792.
PMID: 36694507.


Bilateral shoulder dislocations are a rare occurrence and can be categorized as either symmetric (both humeral heads dislocate in the same direction) or asymmetric (wherein the humeral heads dislocate in different directions). Shoulder dislocations may be overlooked if they are the result of systemic injury; if diagnosed >21 days after occurring, they are considered chronic dislocations. We describe the case of a 31-year-old male who presented with an eight-week history of bilateral shoulder pain. His onset of pain coincided with a seizure secondary to Chikungunya encephalitis. Clinical and radiological examination demonstrated bilateral symmetric anterior shoulder dislocation with associated greater tuberosity fractures and extensive callus formation bilaterally. Open surgical management was performed first on the left shoulder via the deltopectoral approach. The callus was removed, the greater tuberosity fragment lifted off, reattached to the original position, and held in place with sutures and proximal humeral locking plates. The right shoulder was reduced six weeks after the left shoulder due to patient preference; the reduction utilized the same approach as with the left shoulder. Post-operatively the patient was immobilized, and physiotherapy commenced. He achieved a satisfactory range of motion four months post-operation. Physicians should be cognizant that shoulder pain after a convulsive seizure may signify shoulder dislocation. Thorough clinical and radiological examinations are warranted in such an instance. There exists no consensus on the treatment of chronic shoulder dislocations, but it is recommended that closed reduction only be attempted up to six weeks post-dislocation due to the high risk of iatrogenic fractures and neurovascular damage beyond this time.