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Clin Anat. 1999;12(5):326-36.

CT imaging and three-dimensional reconstructions of shoulders with anterior glenohumeral instability.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.


Glenohumeral instability is a common occurrence following anterior dislocation of the shoulder joint, particularly in young men. The bony abnormalities encountered in patients with glenohumeral instability can be difficult to detect with conventional radiography, even with special views. The aim of our study was to evaluate the bony abnormalities associated with glenohumeral instability using CT imaging with 3-D reconstruction images. We scanned 11 patients with glenohumeral instability, one with bilateral symptoms; 10 were male, one female, and their ages ranged from 18-66 years. Contiguous 3 mm axial slices of the glenohumeral joint were taken at 2 mm intervals using a Siemens Somatom CT scanner. In the 12 shoulders imaged, we identified four main abnormalities. A humeral-head defect or Hill-Sachs deformity was seen in 83% cases, fractures of the anterior glenoid rim in 50%, periosteal new bone formation secondary to capsular stripping in 42%, and loose bone fragments in 25%. Manipulation of the 3-D images enabled the abnormalities to be well seen in all cases, giving a graphic visualization of the joint, and only two 3-D images were needed to demonstrate all the necessary information. We feel that CT is the imaging modality most likely to show all the bone abnormalities associated with glenohumeral instability. These bony changes may lead to the correct inference of soft tissue abnormalities making more invasive examinations such as arthrography unnecessary.

Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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