Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 409–414 | Cite as

Examining changes in acromial morphology in relation to spurs at the anterior edge of acromion

  • Abdulrahman AlraddadiEmail author
  • Abduelmenem Alashkham
  • Clare Lamb
  • Roger Soames
Original Article



Although acromial morphology is classified as flat, curved, and hooked, whether the morphology is primary or acquired is debated. There have been no investigations on the effect of acromial spurs on acromial morphology. This study therefore aimed to evaluate acromial morphology in relation to spur formation at the anterior edge of the acromion.

Materials and Methods

Acromial morphology was investigated in 40 scapulae taken from 20 cadavers (10 male and 10 female), with a median age of 82 years (range 62–97 years). Ink prints of the anteroposterior aspect of the acromion were used to evaluate acromial slope angle and curvature height in relation to spur incidence, length, and shape at the anterior edge of the acromion.


Differences were observed in acromial morphology and acromial curvature in relation to acromial spurs (incidence, size, and shape). A hooked acromion was observed as a primary structure in 25% of specimens, which increased to 43% when acromial spurs were involved. No differences were observed in relation to sex or side, while a significant correlation was observed between acromial curvature and the age of the specimens.


Acromial spurs increase acromial curvature and therefore change acromion morphology. Nevertheless, it is concluded that a hooked acromion occurs as a primary formed structure.

Level of evidence

Basic science study, anatomy, cadaver dissection.


Acromial slope Acromial curvature height Acromial morphology Acromial spur Shoulder degenerative changes 



Special thanks to the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) for providing a professional environment to enable this study to be undertaken, and to those who donated their bodies for medical education and research.

Author contributions

AA: data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and manuscript writing; AA: data collection; RS and CL: study supervision and manuscript writing.


A. Alraddadi received funding from King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

As the study was conducted on cadaveric material relevant consent had been obtained at the time of body donation in accordance with the Human Anatomy (Scotland) Act 2006.

Informed consent

Obtained prior to and at the time of body donation.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest with the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, School of Science and EngineeringUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  2. 2.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine-RiyadhKing Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Ministry of National Guard Health AffairsRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Centre for Anatomy, School of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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