Glenoid labrum tears related to the long head of the biceps

Am J Sports Med. 1985 Sep-Oct;13(5):337-41. doi: 10.1177/036354658501300508.


Tears of the glenoid labrum were observed in 73 baseball pitchers and other throwing athletes who underwent arthroscopic examination of the dominant shoulder. Most of the tears were located over the anterosuperior portion of the glenoid labrum near the origin of the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle into the glenoid. At arthroscopy, the tendon of the long head of the biceps appeared to originate through and be continuous with the superior portion of the glenoid labrum. In many cases it appeared to have pulled the anterosuperior portion of the labrum off the glenoid. This observation was verified at arthroscopy by viewing the origin of the biceps tendon into the glenoid labrum as the muscle was electrically stimulated. With stimulation of the muscle, the tendinous portion became quite taut, particularly near its attachment to the glenoid labrum, and actually lifted the labrum off the glenoid. Three-dimensional high-speed cinematography with computer analysis revealed that the moment acting about the elbow joint to extend the joint through an arc of about 50 degrees was in excess of 600 inch-pounds. The extremely high velocity of elbow extension which is generated must be decelerated through the final 30 degrees of elbow extension. Of the muscles of the arm that provide the large deceleration forces in the follow-through phase of throwing, only the biceps brachii traverses both the elbow joint and the shoulder joint. Additional forces are generated in the biceps tendon in its function as a "shunt" muscle to stabilize the glenohumeral joint during the throwing act.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Computers
  • Elbow Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries*
  • Motion Pictures
  • Movement
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Tendons / physiopathology