The effect of defect orientation and size on glenohumeral instability: a biomechanical analysis

Sang Jin Shin, Young Won Ko, Jonathan Scott, Michelle H. McGarry, Thay Q. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between bony stability and percentage of anterior glenoid bone loss and the effect of bone loss orientation. Methods: Twelve cadaveric shoulders were studied. Glenoid bone defects were simulated in two different osteotomy angles: 0° and 45° to the superoinferior (SI) axis of the glenoid. The force and displacement required for dislocation were measured under two compressive forces of 40 and 60N. Testing was performed for the intact glenoid and glenoid defects of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mm from the anterior margin. Results: The maximum force for dislocation with the 2-mm glenoid defect was significantly decreased compared with intact glenoid (p = 0.01), and this force also significantly decreased with each increase in defect size (p < 0.05). The dislocation force for 45° osteotomy was significantly higher than that for 0° osteotomy for all defect widths up to 8 mm with 40N compression and 6 mm with 60N compression (p < 0.001). The displacement at dislocation did not significantly decrease until the 8-mm defect with the 45° osteotomy but significantly decreased with the 4-mm defect with the 0° osteotomy. The required force for dislocation with 60N compression was significantly higher than that with 40N compression for all osteotomy sizes and orientations. Conclusions: The decrease in stability even with glenoid bone loss as small as 2 mm or 7.5 % of the glenoid width suggests that bony restoration is recommended whenever any bone loss exists. Bone defects parallel to SI axis may be more susceptible to recurrent instability, and shoulder muscle strengthening exercises may increase glenohumeral compressive force and thus improve glenohumeral stability. Bony restoration is recommended whenever bone loss exists even with small bone fragments particularly those in line with the superior–inferior axis of the glenoid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) (outside the USA).


  • Anterior shoulder instability
  • Bony restoration procedure
  • Glenoid bone loss
  • Glenoid defect orientation
  • Glenoid defect size
  • Rehabilitation
  • Shoulder muscle strengthening


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