Does scapular elevation accompany glenohumeral abduction in healthy subjects?

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Abstract

Introduction

Although it is used in clinical practice, there are no data concerning scapular elevation during glenohumeral abduction.

Materials and methods

Scapular elevation of 30 healthy volunteers in supine and sitting positions were measured at 90-180 deg of glenohumeral abduction by two examiners. In addition, radiographs of the ten subjects were taken in supine position at 0-180 deg of glenohumeral abduction, and the scapular elevation measurements were repeated. Also, the movements of five anatomical landmarks (acromioclavicular joint, center of glenoid cavity, scapular notch, angulus superior and inferior) were measured with regard to transverse and vertical axes.

Results

The values obtained for scapular elevation during 90, 120, 150, and 180 deg of glenohumeral abduction were (mean and SD) 26.63 and 3.96, 31.77 and 4.36, 35.97 and 5.15, 40.10 and 5.18 deg, respectively. There were no significant differences with regard to side, gender, and position of the subject. No correlation was found between the clinical and radiological measurements. Movements of certain points did not reveal progressive upward motion.

Conclusion

There is no scapular elevation but rather rotation during glenohumeral joint abduction. Normal values given in the present study can be used in clinical examinations.

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