The Global Track Concept for Assessment of Engaging Hill-Sachs Defects in Anterior Shoulder Instability

Am J Sports Med. 2024 Apr;52(5):1292-1298. doi: 10.1177/03635465241232089. Epub 2024 Mar 20.


Background: The glenoid track concept is used to determine preoperatively whether a Hill-Sachs defect is engaging or not. Currently, the glenoid track concept relies on measurements of bony structures as well as on the confines and elasticity of the rotator cuff as a reference point, which varies extensively among individuals and therefore limits the reliability and accuracy of this concept.

Purpose: To evaluate the reliability of the global track concept, which determines the angular distance of the Hill-Sachs defect from the center of the articular surface of the humeral head as a new reference point with the help of an automated image analysis software and 3-dimensional analysis of the humeral head.

Study design: Controlled laboratory study.

Methods: Computed tomography scans of 100 patients treated for anterior shoulder instability with different sizes of Hill-Sachs defects were evaluated manually by 2 orthopaedic surgeons independently using the software OsiriX as well as automatically by using a dedicated prototype software (ImFusion). Obtained manual and automated measurements included the Hill-Sachs length, Hill-Sachs width, and Hill-Sachs depth of the defect; the Hill-Sachs interval (HSI); and the glenoid width for the glenoid track concept, as well as the angular distance of the Hill-Sachs defect from the center of the articular surface of the humeral head (global track concept). The reliability of the different measurement techniques was compared by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

Results: There was a significant difference for all obtained parameters comparing manual and automatic measurements. For manually obtained parameters, measurements referring to bony boundaries (glenoid width, Hill-Sachs length, and Hill-Sachs width) showed good to excellent agreement (ICC, 0.86, 0.82, and 0.62, respectively), while measurements referring to soft tissue boundaries (HSI and glenoid track; ICC, 0.56 and 0.53, respectively) or not directly identifiable reference points (center of articular surface and global track) only showed fair reliability (ICC middle excursion, 0.42). When the same parameters were measured with the help of an automated software, good reliability for the glenoid track concept and excellent reliability for the global track concept in the middle excursion were achieved.

Conclusion: The present study showed that the more complex global track measurements of humeral defects are more reliable than the current standard HSI and glenoid track measurements. However, this is only true when automated software is used to perform the measurements.

Clinical relevance: Future studies using the new proposed method in combination with an automated software need to be conducted to determine critical threshold values for defects prone to engagement.

Keywords: Hill-Sachs lesion; bipolar bone loss; glenoid track; global track; shoulder instability; shoulder segmentation software.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Humeral Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Humeral Head / surgery
  • Joint Instability* / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Instability* / surgery
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Shoulder
  • Shoulder Dislocation* / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Dislocation* / surgery
  • Shoulder Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint* / surgery