Normal glenoid rim anatomy and the reliability of shoulder instability measurements based on intrasite correlation

Surg Radiol Anat. 2009 Oct;31(8):623-5. doi: 10.1007/s00276-009-0492-0. Epub 2009 Mar 28.


Purpose: To evaluate the glenoid shape and to evaluate if the contralateral glenoid can be used as size reference.

Methods: Two independent investigators prospectively analysed shoulder computer-tomographies of 90 patients. The glenoids were positioned in a true "en face" view and evaluated for size and shape. The intraindividual correlation of these parameters between left and right side were assessed.

Results: In the 90 computer tomographically evaluated shoulder pairs a significant intraindividual correlation of size and shape was seen (P < 0.001). The intraindividual difference in glenoid surface area averaged 1.8% of the total glenoid surface. The shape of the inferior hemisphere correlated 100%. We found all the inferior glenoids to be circular.

Conclusion: Our study clearly shows that the inferior glenoid in healthy individuals has the shape of a circle. The high side-to-side correlation of the glenoid surface area can be applied when measuring bony defects by evaluation of the contralateral side.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult