The rotator crescent and rotator cable: an anatomic description of the shoulder's "suspension bridge"

Arthroscopy. 1993;9(6):611-6. doi: 10.1016/s0749-8063(05)80496-7.


Twenty fresh frozen cadaver shoulders were dissected in order to study the rotator cable-crescent complex. The rotator crescent is a term that we have used to describe the thin, crescent-shaped sheet of rotator cuff comprising the distal portions of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus insertions. The crescent was found to be bounded on its proximal margin by a thick bundle of fibers that we have called the rotator cable. This cable-crescent configuration was found to consistently span the insertions of supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons. The dimensions of the rotator cable and crescent were measured by a digital micrometer. The rotator cable was found to be a very substantial structure, averaging 2.59 times the thickness of the rotator crescent that it surrounded. This anatomic study supports the concepts of stress-shielding of the rotator crescent by the stout rotator cable and stress transfer by this loaded cable system.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular / anatomy & histology
  • Middle Aged
  • Rotator Cuff / anatomy & histology*
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Tendons / anatomy & histology*