Incidence of Shoulder Labral Pathology in United States Military Members

Dexter Allen, Jeremy S. Somerson, Cory F. Janney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Shoulder injuries account for approximately 8% to 24% of all musculoskeletal injuries in the military. Recently, a change was made to service-specific physical fitness tests. Knowledge of relative shoulder labral injury rates before and after this change would help guide future directions and preventive strategies. However, we found no previous literature evaluating the rates of labral injury among United States Military branch personnel by enlistment status (enlisted versus officer), gender, age, or race. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective epidemiological study, we queried the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database for International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code S43.43 (superior glenoid labrum lesion) to determine the total number of patients with a shoulder labral injury from 2016 to 2019. Results were assessed for demographic associations of shoulder labral injury with branch, service occupation, rank, gender, race, and age. Queries were limited to first-time occurrences and ambulatory data only. Results: Overall, our study found the incidence of shoulder labral injuries to be largely conserved each year from 2016 to 2019 (3.22-3.35/1000/year). Incidence of labral injury was highest in males, White service members, the junior enlisted, the Army service branch, ages 20 to 29, and enlisted non-combat personnel. Conclusions: With knowledge of injury patterns in specific military populations, initiatives may be taken to identify at-risk service members with the goal of informing future preventive strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1166-e1173
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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