The biomechanical effects of acromial fracture angulation in reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

Jae Hoo Lee, Seong Hun Kim, Gyurim Baek, Andrew Nakla, Daniel Kwak, Michelle McGarry, Thay Q. Lee, Sang Jin Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The biomechanical changes and treatment guidelines on acromial fracture after reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) are still not well understood. The purpose of our study was to analyze the biomechanical changes with respect to acromial fracture angulation in RSA. Methods: RSA was performed on 9 fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulders. An acromial osteotomy was performed on the plane extending from the glenoid surface to simulate an acromion fracture. Four conditions of acromial fracture inferior angulation were evaluated (0°, 10°, 20°, and 30° angulation). The middle deltoid muscle loading origin position was adjusted based on the position of each acromial fracture. The impingement-free angle and capability of the deltoid to produce movement in the abduction and forward flexion planes were measured. The length of the anterior, middle, and posterior deltoid was also analyzed for each acromial fracture angulation. Results: There was no significant difference in the abduction impingement angle between 0° (61.8° ± 2.9°) and 10° angulation (55.9° ± 2.8°); however, the abduction impingement angle of 20° (49.3° ± 2.9°) significantly decreased from 0° and 30° angulation (44.2° ± 4.6°), and 30° angulation significantly differed from 0° and 10° (P < .01). On forward flexion, 10° (75.6° ± 2.7°), 20° (67.9° ± 3.2°), and 30° angulation (59.8° ± 4.0°) had a significantly decreased impingement-free angle than 0° (84.2° ± 4.3°; P < .01), and 30° angulation had a significantly decreased impingement-free angle than 10°. On analysis of glenohumeral abduction capability, 0° significantly differed (at 12.5, 15.0, 17.5, and 20.0N) from 20° and 30°. For forward flexion capability, 30° angulation showed a significantly smaller value than 0° (15N vs. 20N). As acromial fracture angulation increased, the middle and posterior deltoid muscles of 10°, 20°, and 30° became shorter than those of 0°; however, no significant change was found in the anterior deltoid length. Conclusions: In acromial fractures at the plane of glenoid surface, 10° inferior angulation of the acromion did not interfere with abduction and abduction capability. However, 20° and 30° of inferior angulation caused prominent impingement in abduction and forward flexion and reduced abduction capability. In addition, there was a significant difference between 20° and 30°, suggesting that not only the location of the acromion fracture after RSA but also the degree of angulation are important factors for shoulder biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2382-2388
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees


  • Basic Science Study
  • Biomechanics
  • Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty
  • acromion fracture
  • angulation
  • arthroplasty
  • biomechanics
  • cuff tear arthropathy
  • rotator cuff tear


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