Differences in acromial morphology of shoulders in patients with degenerative and traumatic supraspinatus tendon tears
- 947 Downloads
Distinct characteristics of acromial morphology seem to be one factor for the development of degenerative supraspinatus tendon tears. Thus, it is questionable whether patients with traumatic tendon tears also present these parameters. The hypothesis of the present study was that the acromial morphology of patients with degenerative supraspinatus tendon tears differs from patients with traumatic tears.
One hundred and thirty-six patients that were treated by arthroscopic rotator cuff repair from 2010 to 2013 were included in this study. Seventy-two patients had degenerative (group 1), and 64 had traumatic (group 2) supraspinatus tendon tears. On preoperative radiographs the Bigliani type, acromial slope, acromiohumeral (AH) distance, lateral acromial angle (LAA), acromion index (AI), and critical shoulder angle (CSA) were measured. Medians of these parameters as well as of age of both groups were compared using the t test.
The percentaged distribution of the Bigliani type differed (group 1 vs. 2: type 1: 18/38, type 2: 56/55, type 3: 26/8). All parameters showed significant differences between degenerative and traumatic tears. Slope: 21.2° (SD 7.6°) versus 19.2° (SD 7.9°, p = 0.026), AH distance: 8.4 mm (SD 2.3 mm) versus 9.9 mm (SD 1.9 mm, p = 0.0006), LAA: 77.0° (SD 4.0°) versus 82.5° (SD 4.7°, p < 0.0001), AI: 0.77 (SD 0.07) versus 0.73 (0.06, p = 0.0239), and CSA: 36.8° (SD 3.6°) versus 35.3° (SD 2.9°, p = 0.007). An LAA <70° or an AH distance of <5 mm only occurred in degenerative tears. Patients with degenerative tears were significantly older (60 vs. 54 years).
The hypothesis that the acromial morphology of patients with degenerative supraspinatus tendon tears differs from patients with traumatic tears was confirmed. Shoulders with degenerative tears show a narrower subacromial space and a larger lateral extension as well as a steeper angulation of the acromion than with traumatic tears. Thus, the results of this study support the theory of external impingement as a cause for degenerative rotator cuff tears.
Level of evidence
KeywordsShoulder trauma Rotator cuff tear Acromial morphology Subacromial decompression Bigliani
- 4.Biberthaler P, Wiedemann E, Nerlich A, Kettler M, Mussack T, Deckelmann S, Mutschler W (2003) Microcirculation associated with degenerative rotator cuff lesions. In vivo assessment with orthogonal polarization spectral imaging during arthroscopy of the shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg Am 85A(3):475–480Google Scholar
- 24.Moor BK, Bouaicha S, Rothenfluh DA, Sukthankar A, Gerber C (2013) Is there an association between the individual anatomy of the scapula and the development of rotator cuff tears or osteoarthritis of the glenohumeral joint?: a radiological study of the critical shoulder angle. Bone Joint J 95B(7):935–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar