Anterior glenohumeral stabilization factors: Progressive effects in a biomechanical model

D. M. Malicky, L. J. Soslowsky, R. B. Blasier, Y. Shyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to evaluate the anterior stabilizing factors of the glenohumeral joint over a range of translations. The stabilizers examined included the capsular ligaments, the coracohumeral ligament, the rotator cuff muscles, and the long head of the biceps. Simulated muscle forces were applied to eight shoulder specimens to produce 90° of total elevation of the arm in the scapular plane. Stability, defined as the force required to reach a specified subluxation, then was evaluated under varying configurations of capsule cuts, humeral rotation, and muscular loads. The overall force- displacement relationship of the subluxation was found to increase exponentially in external relation to 239 N at 10 mm of displacement and to level off in neutral rotation to 172 N at 10 mm of displacement. Among the muscles, the biceps was the most important stabilizer in neutral rotation, providing more than 30 N of stabilization; the subscapularis provided the greatest degree of stabilization in external rotation, increasing to approximately 20 N. The subscapularis and supraspinatus were the most consistently important stabilizers in both types of rotation. In external rotation, the superior, middle, and inferior glenohumeral ligaments were the most effective ligamentous stabilizers, and all provided progressively more stabilization as higher displacements were reached. The stability provided by some of the ligaments reached nearly 50 N at 10 mm of displacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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