Posterosuperior glenoid rim impingement as a cause of shoulder pain in top level waterpolo players

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1997 Dec;37(4):273-8.


Objective: To further define the impingement occurring between the undersurface of the rotator cuff and the posterosuperior glenoid rim as a cause of shoulder pain in waterpolo athletes.

Experimental design: A prospective design was used in the last three years.

Setting: Data were collected in Science Sports Institute of Rome.

Participants: Eleven top level waterpolo players of both sexes all members of Italian National Waterpolo teams complaining of shoulder pain.

Intervention: All the eleven cases were previously examined with clinical test and X-ray and MR imaging in conventional and functional views, and then underwent arthroscopy.

Results: In four cases, X-ray showed erosions of the posterosuperior glenoid and in 5 cases, osteochondral defects on the posterior aspect of humeral head. In eleven cases, MR detected posterosuperior labral damages, partial tears of the undersurface of the rotator cuff and posterosuperior glenoid impingement. Furthermore arthroscopy detected in all cases the pathological findings associated with the posterosuperior glenoid impingement.

Conclusions: Even if the shoulder pain in the overhead athlete may be multifactorial, this study provides further evidence that the posterosuperior glenoid impingement may be the major cause of shoulder pain in waterpolo athletes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / etiology*
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / diagnostic imaging
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Humerus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humerus / injuries
  • Humerus / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Rotation
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Rupture
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / complications*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / surgery
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery