SA Orthopaedic Journal
On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Dislocation of the glenohumeral joint is often associated with a bony lesion of the antero-inferior glenoid rim. This can be assessed at arthroscopy using the 'bare spot' - an area in the central glenoid where articular cartilage is comparatively thin. The aim of this study was to assess the bare spot in a large number of cadavers. Fifty cadavers with no known history of bone or joint disease were examined. The bare spot was present in nearly 90% of shoulders and is centrally placed in the antero-posterior plane. However, the bare spot is significantly further away from the antero-inferior rim of the glenoid by 1.4 mm. The median distance from bare spot to the anterior rim is 13.2 mm, while the median distance to the antero-inferior rim is 14.6 mm. Bone loss of the antero-inferior glenoid is associated with failure of soft tissue repairs after shoulder dislocation. These data will help in the arthroscopic assessment of the glenoid and in decision-making for surgery for gleno-humeral instability.