Hypothesis and background: Coracoacromial ligament (CAL) excision and acromioplasty increase superior and anterosuperior glenohumeral translation. It is unknown how much of an increase in rotator cuff force production is required to re-establish intact glenohumeral biomechanics after these surgical procedures. We hypothesized that, after CAL excision and acromioplasty, an increase in rotator cuff force production would not be necessary to reproduce the anterosuperior and superior translations of the intact specimens. Methods: Nine cadaveric shoulders were subjected to loading in the superior and anterosuperior directions in the intact state after CAL excision, acromioplasty, and recording of the translations. The rotator cuff force was then increased to normalize glenohumeral biomechanics. Results: After CAL excision at 150 and 200 N of loading, an increase in the rotator cuff force by 25% decreased anterosuperior translation to the point where there was no significant difference from the intact specimen's translation. After acromioplasty (and CAL excision) at 150 and 200 N, an increase in the rotator cuff force of 25% and 30%, respectively, decreased superior translation to the point where there was no significant difference from the intact specimen's translation. Conclusions: At 150 to 200 N of loading, CAL excision and acromioplasty increase the rotator cuff force required to maintain normal glenohumeral biomechanics by 25% to 30%. Clinical relevance: After a subacromial decompression, the rotator cuff has an increased force production requirement to maintain baseline glenohumeral mechanics. Under many circumstances, in vivo force requirements may be even greater after surgical attenuation of the coracoacromial arch. Level of evidence: Basic Science Study; Biomechanics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine