Glenoid Bone Grafting for Complex Shoulder Instability

Wesley Gray, age 23 (shown at left 4 months after Dr. Petty performed a complex reconstruction of his shoulder) began experiencing frequent shoulder dislocations his sophomore year of high school as a result of repeated football and wrestling injuries. Surgery was performed, but the dislocations began again after about 1 year. A second surgeon performed another surgery, but concluded that the shoulder could not be repaired. By the time Wesley came to see Dr. Petty, he said he had had more than 100 dislocations, sometimes doing the simplest things, like shaking hands with a friend. He would even wake up at night with his shoulder dislocated. Wesley came to see Dr. Petty after his mother, a nurse at one of the hospitals where Dr. Petty
performs surgeries, showed Dr. Petty the imaging studies of Wesley's shoulder one day when he was at the hospital. Dr. Petty told her he thought he could fix the problem, that he had done it before. Dr. Petty diagnosed the problem as bone loss of the glenoid, a bone in the shoulder that keeps the shoulder ball joint in place. It is much like a golf tee holding a golf ball. If parts of the tee are broken off, the ball will tend to fall off of the tee. Dr. Petty's operation on Wesley was complex. He first cut a piece of bone out of Wesley's pelvis, selecting a location where the curvature of the pelvis approximated the curvature of the ball joint. He then shaped the harvested bone as necessary to provide a perfect fit with the damaged glenoid bone and match the shape of the ball. He then attached the bone piece to the glenoid. He also had to reshape portions of the ball joint and remove bone spurs. At Dr. Petty's office four months after surgery, all indications were that the surgery was successful: range of motion was on target, the bone graft was incorporating nicely, hardware was intact and he had normal neurovascular status. Watch the video above as Wesley discusses his experience.