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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X

SA orthop. j. vol.7 n.4 Centurion Oct./Dec. 2008




The position of the 'bare spot' - not central in the glenoid



TR CresswellI; JF de BeerII; D du ToitIII

IBM, FRCS(Ed)(Trauma & Orth), Dip Orth Eng
IIMBChB, MMed(Orth). Cape Shoulder Institute, Med Group, Parow, South Africa
IIIFCS(SA), FRCS, PhD. Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Stellenbosch





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.



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Reprint requests:
Dr J de Beer
PO Box 15741
Panorama 7506
Western Cape e-mail:



This article was not submitted to an ethical committee for approval. The content of this article is the sole work of the authors. No benefits of any form have been derived from any commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

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