Hillsacks lesion

What is a Hill-Sachs lesion?

A Hill-Sachs lesion, or Hill-Sachs impaction fracture, is an injury to the back portion of the rounded top of your upper arm bone (humerus). This injury occurs when you dislocate your shoulder. It’s named for the two American radiologists who first described the injury in 1940: Harold Hill and Maurice Sachs. Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint held in place with muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. The humerus bone sits in the socket, the cup-shaped labrum in your shoulder. An injury can pop the ball part of the joint out of the socket, causing pain and damaging parts of the joint.


A Hill-Sachs lesion or fracture occurs when the humerus bone pops out of the socket, scraping the head of the bone against the edge of the socket. You won’t be able to tell right away if you have a Hill-Sachs lesion. But you’ll feel the pain of your shoulder dislocation.

Also, more than one part of your shoulder may be damaged in an injury. A dislocated shoulder requires emergency care.

The symptoms of a dislocated shoulder are:

  • intense pain
  • difficulty moving the joint
  • visible deformation of the shoulder, often with a bulge in the front of the joint
  • swelling or bruising
  • weakness
  • muscle spasms


Causes and risk factors

Your shoulder joint is very flexible. It can move in many directions and has many parts that can be injured.

The top of the humerus bone is called the humeral head. It’s larger than the socket that holds it. To keep it stable, tendons, muscle, and ligaments hold it in place.

Common causes for a dislocated shoulder include:

  • falls, such as from a ladder or down stairs
  • sports activities, especially contact sports
  • trauma, such as a car accident

A 2010 study Trusted Source of 8,940 people with shoulder dislocations found that 58.8 percent of dislocations resulted from a fall. Of these cases, 47.7 percent occurred at home. And 34.5 percent occurred while playing sports or participating in some other type of recreation. Overall, 48.3 percent of all the dislocations occurred in sports or recreations.

Specific activity risks include:

  • contact sports such as football, hockey, and soccer
  • sports where falls are possible, such as skiing, volleyball, and gymnastics
  • sports with throwing activity, such as tennis and baseball
  • sports involving overhead motion, such as swimming and weight-lifting
  • occupations Trusted Sourcewhere you do heavy lifting or pushing or pulling above your shoulder height, or do repetitive work

A dislocated shoulder has a greater risk of recurrence after the first injury. However, data are limited for recurrence of dislocations for people with Hill-Sachs lesions. One meta-analysis cited two studies that showed if you have a Hill-Sachs lesion, you’re 1.55 times more likely to have a recurrence.


The outlook for recovery from a dislocated shoulder and a Hill-Sachs lesion is generally good. But a recurrence of a dislocation is common, especially in younger people.

In the long-term, about one-thirdTrusted Source of people who have surgery for a dislocated shoulder will develop shoulder arthritis. Talk to your doctor about a treatment and rehabilitation plan that will limit your risk of further complications.


Why People Choose Us

How Can We Help You?

Need to bounce off ideas for an upcoming project or digital campaign? Looking to transform your business with the implementation of full potential digital marketing?

For any career inquiries, please visit our careers page here.