Proprioception of the shoulder joint in healthy, unstable, and surgically repaired shoulders

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1994 Nov;3(6):371-80. doi: 10.1016/S1058-2746(09)80022-0. Epub 2009 Feb 13.


Shoulder proprioception was measured in 90 subjects who were assigned to three experimental groups: group 1 (n = 40), healthy college-age subjects; group 2 (n = 30), patients with anterior instability; and group 3 (n = 20), patients who have had surgical reconstruction. Kinesthesia and joint position sense were measured with a specially designed proprioception testing device. The results revealed no significant differences in proprioception between dominant and nondominont shoulders in group 1 for any test condition. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were revealed between the unstable and uninvolved shoulder for both kinesthesia and joint position sense in group 2. No significant mean differences were revealed between the surgical and contralaterol shoulder in group 3 under any test condition. This series of studies provides evidence that proprioceptive deficits caused by partial deafferentiation result when copsuloligomentous structures are damaged. Reconstructive surgery appears to restore some of these proprioception characteristics.