Robert S. Wolf, MD, Lawrence J. Lemak, MD
Thermal Capsulorrhaphy in the Treatment of Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder
ABSTRACT: The treatment of symptomatic multidi- rectional instability (MDI) of the shoulder has proven a challenge to orthopaedic surgeons. Patients who refuse activity modification often fail nonsurgical management, and traditional surgical approaches may trade the dysfunction of instability for that of decreased motion and possible future arthrosis. Recently, several methods of arthroscopic thermal capsulorrhaphy have gained popularity. Studies have shown that capsular shrinkage occurs due to the denaturation of type I collagen with maintenance of heat-stable intermolecular crosslinks. Thermally treated tissues undergo a predictable
healing response. The primary advantages of this procedure are the decreased surgical morbidity and ease of procedure compared with open capsular shift. Additionally, it may provide improved stability and decreased pain while maintaining range of motion. When radiofrequency treatment provides inadequate visualized capsular contracture, arthroscopic
rotator interval closure can improve stability without resorting to an open procedure. While initial results in certain clinical series are promising, the long-term efficacy remains to be seen.