Patient Positioning in Arthroscopic Management of Posterior-Inferior Shoulder Instability: A Systematic Review Comparing Beach Chair and Lateral Decubitus Approaches Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • PURPOSE: To analyze the available literature pertaining to clinical outcomes and complications of posterior-inferior shoulder stabilization performed arthroscopically in either the beach chair (BC) or lateral decubitus (LD) position. METHODS: According to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), 3 databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and Medline) were searched up to January 2018 for English-language studies on posterior shoulder instability. Descriptive statistics are presented. The Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) scale was used to assess quality. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies were included, examining 1,085 patients (n = 140 BC; n = 945 LD), of mean age 25.0 years, 27.1% female, and mean 3.1 years of follow-up. MINORS scores for BC and LD were 11.2 and 9.8, respectively. Regardless of positioning, patients did not differ across numerous outcomes and various surgical factors (e.g., number of portals, anchors, anchor types, concomitant pathology, or postoperative rehabilitation protocol). Postoperative patient satisfaction ranged from 85% to 87.5% and 93% to 100% for patients treated in BC and LD positions, respectively. Although not reported for BC, overall and preinjury return-to-play (RTP) rates in LD patients ranged from 72% to 100% and 55% to 100%, respectively, returning from 3 to 7.6 months postoperatively. Failure rates in the BC and LD positions ranged from 0% to 9.4% and 0% to 29%, respectively. There were no differences in reported incidences of neuropraxia, stroke, nonfatal pulmonary embolus, vision loss, cardiac arrest, or other positioning-related complications. CONCLUSIONS: Arthroscopic management of posterior-inferior shoulder instability has a successful track record and minimal complication profile. Although patient positioning appears to influence results, with those treated in the LD position experiencing marginally higher patient satisfaction and failure rates, the current data prevent any conclusions being made regarding the superiority of one approach over another. As the clinical relevance of patient positioning remains to be determined, larger, higher-level study designs with long-term follow-up are required. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, systematic review of Level II, III, and IV studies.


  • de SA, Darren
  • Sheean, Andrew J
  • Morales-Restrepo, Alejandro
  • Dombrowski, Malcolm
  • Kay, Jeffrey
  • Vyas, Dharmesh

publication date

  • January 2019