Exposing the glenoid in shoulder arthroplasty

EFORT Open Rev. 2019 Jun 3;4(6):248-253. doi: 10.1302/2058-5241.4.180057. eCollection 2019 Jun.


Glenoid exposure should offer frontal access to the glenoid to allow the ancillary tools to be used freely and thus facilitate the good positioning of the glenoid implant.The two classically recognized approaches for shoulder arthroplasty are the deltopectoral and the transdeltoid approach.The axillary nerve is the most important anatomical structure in the glenoid, passing down the anterior part of the subscapularis, the inferior pole of the joint and the deep face of the deltoid muscle.Inferior glenohumeral release is the key step that allows the humerus to be retracted back or downwards thereby exposing the glenoid face on.In difficult and stiff cases, once pectoralis major release, osteophyte resection and posterior capsulectomy have been performed, a compression fracture, produced by using a retractor to push against the upper extremity of the humerus, can provide the extra few millimetres of space required to use the ancillary tools without hindrance. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2019;4 DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.4.180057.

Keywords: arthroplasty; deltopectoral approach; glenoid exposure; shoulder; transdeltoid approach.

Publication types

  • Review