Characterization of the dysplastic Walch type C glenoid

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The Walch Type C dysplastic glenoid is characterized by excessive retroversion. This anatomical study describes its morphology.

Patients and Methods

A total of 29 shoulders with a dysplastic glenoid were analyzed. CT was used to measure retroversion, inclination, height, width, radius-of-curvature, surface area, depth, subluxation of the humeral head and the Goutallier classification of fatty infiltration. The severity of dysplasia and deficiency of the posterior rim of the glenoid were recorded.


A type C glenoid occurred in 1.8% of shoulders referred to our tertiary centres. The mean retroversion, inclination, height, width, radius-of-curvature, surface area, and depth of the glenoid were 37°, 3°, 46 mm, 30 mm, 37°, 1284 mm3, and 16 mm, respectively. The mean posterior subluxation was 90%. The Goutallier class was < 2 in 25 shoulders (86%). Glenoid dysplasia was mild in four, moderate in 14, and severe in 11 shoulders. The typical appearance of the posterior glenoid rim had a rounded or ‘lazy J’ morphology. The glenoid neck was deficient in 18 shoulders (62%).


A dysplastic Type C glenoid characteristically has a uniconcave retroverted morphology, a deficient posteroinferior rim and scapular neck, and a reduced depth. These findings help to define the unique anatomical variations and may aid the planning of surgery and the development of components for these patients.


Cite this article:Bone Joint J2018;100-B:1074–9.

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