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Examination under Anesthesia

Examination of the glenohumeral joint with the arm in various degrees of abduction and external rotation allows the surgeon to assess the degree and direction of glenohumeral laxity. Side-to-side comparisons can be particularly helpful in patients with subtle instability patterns or for those with global laxity.

As described earlier in the chapter, laxity is graded from 0 to 3+, and the sulcus is measured and quantified by the distance between the lateral border of the humeral head and the acromion. The examination under anesthesia should confirm the preoperative diagnosis that was established through a careful history, physical, and imaging studies.

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