Author(s): Bono CM, Renard R, Levine RG, Levy AS
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Abstract Using a dynamic biomechanical model of malunion of the shoulder, we have determined the change in deltoid force required for abduction with various combinations of superior and posterior displacement of fractures of the greater tuberosity of the humerus. We tested eight fresh human cadaver shoulders in a dynamic shoulder-testing apparatus during cycles of glenohumeral abduction from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. The greater tuberosities were osteotomised and stabilised to represent malunion with combinations of superior and posterior displacements of 1 cm and less. The peak force was measured for each displacement in each specimen and statistically compared with values of no displacement using a repeated-measures analysis of variance. The abduction force was significantly increased by 16\% (p = 0.006) and 27\% (p = 0.0001) by superior displacements of 0.5 cm and 1 cm, respectively, while combined superior and posterior displacement of 1 cm gave an increase in force of 29\% (p = 0.001). While treatment criteria for acceptable residual displacement of the greater tuberosity are widely used, there is little information on the direct biomechanical effects of displacement on shoulder mechanics. Although the results of conservative treatment are influenced by a number of factors, including associated injuries, rehabilitation and the pre-existing function of the shoulder, our data suggest that small amounts of residual displacement may alter the balance of forces required to elevate the arm at the glenohumeral joint.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Br
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research