In-vivo glenohumeral translation and ligament elongation during abduction and abduction with internal and external rotation
1 Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Bioengineering Laboratory, GRJ-1215, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA, 02114, USA
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2012, 7:29 doi:10.1186/1749-799X-7-29Published: 28 June 2012
Basic Science. To investigate humeral head translations and glenohumeral ligament elongation with a dual fluoroscopic imaging system.
The glenohumeral ligaments are partially responsible for restraining the humeral head during the extremes of shoulder motion. However, in-vivo glenohumeral ligaments elongation patterns have yet to be determined. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to 1) quantify the in-vivo humeral head translations and glenohumeral ligament elongations during functional shoulder positions, 2) compare the inferred glenohumeral ligament functions with previous literature and 3) create a baseline data of healthy adult shoulder glenohumeral ligament lengths as controls for future studies.
Five healthy adult shoulders were studied with a validated dual fluoroscopic imaging system (DFIS) and MR imaging technique. Humeral head translations and the superior, middle and inferior glenohumeral ligaments (SGHL, MGHL, IGHL) elongations were determined.
The humeral head center on average translated in a range of 6.0mm in the anterior-posterior direction and 2.5mm in the superior-inferior direction. The MGHL showed greater elongation over a broader range of shoulder motion than the SGHL. The anterior-band (AB)-IGHL showed maximum elongation at 90° abduction with maximum external rotation. The posterior-band (PB)-IGHL showed maximum elongation at 90° abduction with maximum internal rotation.
The results demonstrated that the humeral head translated statistically more in the anterior-posterior direction than the superior-inferior direction (p = 0.01), which supports the concept that glenohumeral kinematics are not ball-in-socket mechanics. The AB-IGHL elongation pattern makes it an important static structure to restrain anterior subluxation of the humeral head during the externally rotated cocking phase of throwing motion. These data suggest that in healthy adult shoulders the ligamentous structures of the glenohumeral joint are not fully elongated in many shoulder positions, but function as restraints at the extremes of glenohumeral motion. Clinically, these results may be helpful in restoring ligament anatomy during the treatment of anterior instability of the shoulder.