We present the long-term outcome, at a median of 18 years (12.8 to 23.5) of open posterior bone block stabilisation for recurrent posterior instability of the shoulder in a heterogenous group of 11 patients previously reported on in 2001 at a median follow-up of six years. We found that five (45%) would not have chosen the operation again, and that four (36%) had further posterior dislocation. Clinical outcome was significantly worse after 18 years than after six years of follow-up (median Rowe score of 60 versus 90 (p = 0.027)). The median Western Ontario Shoulder Index was 60% (37% to 100%) at 18 years' follow-up, which is a moderate score. At the time of surgery four (36%) had glenohumeral radiological osteoarthritis, which was present in all after 18 years. This study showed poor long-term results of the posterior bone block procedure for posterior instability and a high rate of glenohumeral osteoarthritis although three patients with post-traumatic instability were pleased with the result of their operations.