Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference in contact geometry at the undersurface of acromion in shoulders with and without a rotator cuff (RC) tear. Type of Study: Case-control study. Methods: Forty fresh cadaveric shoulders (average age at death, 61 years) without gross osteoarthritic changes were divided into the intact RC group (n = 20) and the RC tear group (n = 20). Clinical impingement was simulated by compressing the humeral head and the intact portion of the RC against the coracoacromial arch with an axial compressive force of 25 kg while the humerus was held abducted 20° in the scapular plane. The contact pattern between the acromion and the RC was measured with Fuji Prescale super low-pressure-sensitive film (Fuji Photo Film Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan). The imprint image was analyzed using Global Lab image software (Automatix, Marlboro, MA). Results: The percentage of the maximum anteroposterior dimension of the imprint on Fuji film to the anteroposterior diameter of the acromial undersurface was 29%±9% in intact RC shoulders, and 39%±13% in shoulders with an RC tear (P > .05). The percentage of the maximum mediolateral dimension of the imprint to the mediolateral diameter of the corresponding part of the acromial undersurface was 27%±12% in intact RC shoulders, and 48%±11% in shoulders with an RC tear. This difference was statistically significant (P < .005). Conclusions: The contact geometry of the acromial undersurface with the underlying RC in the anteroposterior dimension, which might be related to the appearance in supraspinatus outlet view, was not significantly different between shoulders with and without an RC tear. These findings suggest that factors other than acromial shape play a significant role in the pathogenesis of RC tears. The implication regarding the role of acromioplasty remains to be clarified.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine