What is a Hill-Sachs Lesion?

Hill-Sachs Lesion

A Hill-Sachs lesion is a severe shoulder injury that might require surgical repair. The shoulder joint is a combination of the head of the humerus and the socket called the glenoid.

While the shoulder has an extensive range of motion, it is also easy to dislocate. Once the shoulder dislocates, it is prone to a repeat injury with even lesser impacts. Repeated shoulder dislocations can cause someone to develop a Hill-Sachs lesion.

What are the Signs of a Hill-Sachs Lesion?

Those who suffer this type of injury will typically feel severe pain at the time of the dislocation. This pain takes place in the upper arm and can make it hard for someone to move that limb.

People might also find it hard to raise their arm above their hard, as this makes the pain worse. Finally, those who have been diagnosed with this injury often have problems with the glenoid joint itself. The larger the Hill-Sachs lesion is, the more likely there are other injuries of the shoulder socket.

How is a Hill-Sachs Lesion Diagnosed?

When someone presents with arm pain following a traumatic accident, the doctor is probably going to perform an x-ray. Unfortunately, even from multiple views, a Hill-Sachs lesion can be challenging to detect this type of imaging. The doctor will also want to carefully inspect the rim of the shoulder joint to look for a potential problem with the glenoid. This is hard to do on an x-ray. That’s why more detailed imaging is required.

The doctor will order additional scans, such as a CT or an MRI. The doctor will look for damage to not only the humerus but also the bone marrow underneath. The bone marrow often appears to swell in response to this injury. After identifying the Hill-Sachs lesion, the doctor will carefully inspect the rest of the shoulder joint as well. There is usually damage to the glenoid or the labrum, which also needs to be addressed.

How is a Hill-Sachs Lesion Treated?

The Hill-Sachs lesion will often heal with time and rest alone. However, this injury only develops following repeated dislocations of the shoulder. As a result, individuals with this type of injury will often require surgery to repair the shoulder and stabilize the joint. Following this injury, glenoid and labrum are incredibly unstable and prone to future dislocations. Surgical procedures are performed to help address this issue.

In severe cases, bone grafts might be needed to repair the Hill-Sachs lesion. Bone is moved from one area of the body to the humerus to speed the repair process. This is performed if the defect is large and causes damage to the soft tissue under the bone. Without this graft, large defects are unlikely to heal properly.

Recovery Process for Hill-Sachs Lesions

Individuals who require surgery to repair this injury face a long recovery process. Physical therapy is done to strengthen the shoulder joint and reduce the chances of a future dislocation.

Even though the surgery often improves the shoulder’s stability, it also reduces the arm’s range of motion. Overall, the prognosis following this injury is good, and individuals will be able to use their arms without discomfort. It might take some time to bring the arm and shoulder back to full strength.

Watch YouTube Video: Shoulder Dislocation, Hill Sachs LesionBy: Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A Hill-Sachs lesion is a serious shoulder injury that could require surgery. If a loved one has sustained a severe shoulder injury due to an accident caused by the negligence of another person, please call our law office today to speak with our accident lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 and receive free, friendly advice.

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