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BACKGROUND: Shoulder dislocations are the most common joint dislocations seen in emergency departments. Most traumatic cases are anterior and cause recurrent dislocations. Management options include surgical and conservative treatments. There is a lack of evidence about which method is most effective after the first traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation (TASD). OBJECTIVES: To produce UK age- and sex-specific incidence rates for TASD. To assess whether or not surgery within 6 months of a first-time TASD decreases re-dislocation rates compared with no surgery. To identify clinical predictors of recurrent dislocation. DESIGN: A population-based cohort study of first-time TASD patients in the UK. An initial validation study and subsequent propensity-score-matched analysis to compare re-dislocation rates between surgery and no surgery after a first-time TASD. Prediction modelling was used to identify potential predictors of recurrent dislocation. SETTING: UK primary and secondary care data. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with a first-time TASD between 1997 and 2015. INTERVENTIONS: Stabilisation surgery within 6 months of a first-time TASD (compared with no surgery). Stabilisation surgery within 12 months of a first-time TASD was also carried out as a sensitivity analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Re-dislocation rate up to 2 years after the first TASD. METHODS: Eligible patients were identified from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) (1997-2015). Accuracy of shoulder dislocation coding was internally validated using the CPRD General Practitioner questionnaire service. UK age- and sex-specific incidence rates for TASD were externally validated against rates from the USA and Canada. A propensity-score-matched analysis using linked CPRD and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data compared re-dislocation rates for patients aged 16-35 years, comparing surgery with no surgery. Multivariable Cox regression models for predicting re-dislocation were developed for the surgical and non-surgical cohorts. RESULTS: Shoulder dislocation was coded correctly for 89% of cases in the CPRD [95% confidence interval (CI) 83% to 95%], with a 'primary' dislocation confirmed for 76% of cases (95% CI 67% to 85%). Far fewer patients than expected received stabilisation surgery within 6 months of a first TASD, leading to an underpowered study. Around 20% of re-dislocation rates were observed for both surgical and non-surgical patients. The sensitivity analysis at 12 months also showed little difference in re-dislocation rates. Missing data on risk factors limited the value of the prediction modelling; however, younger age, epilepsy and sex (male) were identified as statistically significant predictors of re-dislocation. LIMITATIONS: Far fewer than the expected number of patients had surgery after a first-time TASD, resulting in an underpowered study. This and residual confounding from missing risk factors mean that it is not possible to draw valid conclusions. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides, for the first time, UK data on the age- and sex-specific incidence rates for TASD. Most TASD occurs in men, but an unexpected increased incidence was observed in women aged > 50 years. Surgery after a first-time TASD is uncommon in the NHS. Re-dislocation rates for patients receiving surgery after their first TASD are higher than previously expected; however, important residual confounding risk factors were not recorded in NHS primary and secondary care databases, thus preventing useful recommendations. FUTURE WORK: The high incidence of TASD justifies investigation into preventative measures for young men participating in contact sports, as well as investigating the risk factors in women aged > 50 years. A randomised controlled trial would account for key confounders missing from CPRD and HES data. A national TASD registry would allow for a more relevant data capture for this patient group. STUDY REGISTRATION: Independent Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (ISAC protocol 15_0260). FUNDING: The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

Original publication

DOI

10.3310/hta23180

Type

Journal article

Journal

Health technol assess

Publication Date

04/2019

Volume

23

Pages

1 - 104

Keywords

CLINICAL PRACTICE RESEARCH DATALINK, CPRD, HES, INCIDENCE, SHOULDER DISLOCATION, SHOULDER SURGERY