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Review
, 20 (3), 267-72

Correlation Between the Four Types of Acromion and the Existence of Enthesophytes: A Study on 423 Dried Scapulas and Review of the Literature

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Review

Correlation Between the Four Types of Acromion and the Existence of Enthesophytes: A Study on 423 Dried Scapulas and Review of the Literature

K Natsis et al. Clin Anat.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to correlate the four types of acromial shape with the existence of enthesophytes, which together comprise two important parameters for subacromial impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tears. In addition, a review of the literature was carried out. Four hundred twenty-three dried scapulas were studied at the Department of Anatomy in the University of Cologne, Germany. Four types of acromion were found: the three classical ones as described by Bigliani et al. ([1986] Orthop Trans 10:216) and a fourth one, where the middle third of the undersurface of acromion was convex (Gagey et al. [1993] Surg Radiol Anat 15:63-70). The correlation between the four types of acromion and the presence of enthesophytes at its anterior undersurface was also recorded. The distribution of acromial types was as follows: type I, flat, 51 (12.1%); type II, curved, 239 (56.5%); type III, hooked, 122 (28.8%); and type IV, convex, 11 (2.6%). Enthesophytes were found in 1 of type I (2%), in 19 of type II (7.9%), in 46 of type III (37.7%), and in 0 (0%) of type IV acromions. Overall, 66 (15.6%) out of 423 scapulas had enthesophytes. In all cases, they were localized at the site of the coracoacromial ligament insertion on the acromion. Enthesophytes were significantly (P < 0.05) more common in type III acromions and this combination is particularly associated with subacromial impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tears. In type I and in type IV acromions, the incidence of enthesophytes is very small and, according to other studies, with these two acromial types rotator cuff tears are also rare.

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