We studied the position and rotational changes associated with elevation of the glenohumeral joint, using a three-dimensional magnetic-field tracking system on nine fresh cadaveric shoulders. The plane of maximal arm elevation was shown to occur 23° anterior to the plane of the scapula. Elevation in any plane anterior to the scapula required external humeral rotation, and maximal elevation was associated with approximately 35° of external humeral rotation. Conversely, internal rotation was necessary for increased elevation posterior to the plane of the scapula. The observed effects of this rotation were to clear the humeral tuberosity from abutting beneath the acromion and to relax the inferior capsular ligamentous constraints. Measurement of the obligatory humeral rotation required for maximal elevation helps to explain the relationship of the limited elevation seen in adhesive capsulitis and after operations which limit external rotation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine