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Keywords:

  • glenohumeral;
  • glenoid;
  • humeral head;
  • measurement;
  • protractor;
  • shoulder

Abstract

Functional biomechanics studies of the glenohumeral (GH) soft tissues require an understanding of their sites of bony attachment. Anatomical positions of GH capsular structures have often been quantified relative to the rims of the glenoid and humeral head (HH). The aim of this study was twofold: (1) to quantify the reliability of a set of protractors that directly fit on to the glenoid and HH rims and (2) to use this to determine direct angular position referencing of landmarks and soft tissue attachment points. Three assessors independently used the protractors to assess nine prescribed landmarks on 30 dry bone specimens (15 glenoids and 15 HHs) recording the angular positions of the structures relative to the glenoid and HH. The collected data showed high levels of validity as indicated by the protractor’s intra- and inter-assessor reliabilities: 98.2 and 98.7% for the glenoid component, and 96.2 and 96.5% for the humeral component, respectively. The device could be useful in anatomical studies, description of defects and pathologies on glenohumeral articulation, and planning of scapular reconstructive surgery.