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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2016 Feb;24(2):390-7. doi: 10.1007/s00167-015-3736-z. Epub 2015 Aug 1.

The role of the scapula in preventing and treating shoulder instability.

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Shoulder Center of Kentucky, 1221 South Broadway, Lexington, KY, 40504, USA.
Shoulder Center of Kentucky, 1221 South Broadway, Lexington, KY, 40504, USA.


The shoulder is a closed-chain mechanism that balances the mobility required by the ranges of motion in normal activities with the stability required to act as a stable ball and socket base for those activities. The scapula plays key roles in the closed-chain mechanism by being mobile enough to place the glenoid in optimal relation to the humerus to facilitate concavity/compression and by being a stable base for coordinated muscle activation to compress the humerus into the glenoid. Scapular dyskinesis alters these roles and is frequently present in many types of glenohumeral instability. It may create or exacerbate the abnormal glenohumeral kinematics in instability. Clinical evaluation methods can demonstrate scapular dyskinesis, and if dyskinesis is present, rehabilitation for the dyskinesis should be included in the non-operative, preoperative, or post-operative treatment. Rehabilitation for scapular dyskinesis can be performed by specific protocols and is more successful in muscle-predominant instabilities such as multidirectional instability and repetitive microtrauma instability. Level of evidence V.


Scapula; Scapula evaluation; Scapular dyskinesis; Shoulder injury prevention

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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