Is the bare spot a consistent landmark for shoulder arthroscopy? A study of 20 embalmed glenoids with 3-dimensional computed tomographic reconstruction

Arthroscopy. 2006 Apr;22(4):428-32. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2005.12.006.


Purpose: Our aim was to test a published methodology for arthroscopically quantifying glenoid bone loss for its dependability in a cadaver-based anatomic study with 3-dimensional (3-D) computed tomographic (CT) reconstructions of 20 embalmed glenoids.

Methods: Manual macroscopic measurements were made in a standardized fashion. In addition, we marked the center of the visible bare spot in 20 embalmed glenoids with a titanium pin. The shoulder joints were carefully selected for intact rotator cuff, missing capsule-labral deficiency, and absence of severe cartilage degeneration. 3-D reconstructed CT scans were evaluated for consistency of the bare spot.

Results: The mean distance from the bare spot to the anterior margin measured manually was 10.9 mm (CT-based, 13.9 mm), to the posterior margin 13.7 mm (CT-based, 16.4 mm), and to the inferior margin 9.7 mm (CT-based, 15.1 mm). Distances were significantly different.

Conclusions: The bare spot did not prove its consistency in 20 carefully selected specimens. Therefore, we conclude that this methodology is not a reliable way to intraoperatively determine bony glenoid deficiency.

Clinical relevance: We recommend preoperative bilateral CT scans for evaluation of bony glenoid deficiency for exact quantification of the bone loss.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Bone Nails
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scapula / anatomy & histology
  • Scapula / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*