We studied the occurrence and correlation between a rotator cuff tear and glenohumeral degeneration. 44 cadaveric shoulders (22 right) were obtained from 32 subjects (18 females), mean age 73 (62-86) years and without a history of systemic diseases. Rotator cuffs were exposed and tear size (14 shoulders) was measured after removal of soft tissue and deltoid. Articular cartilage damage of the glenoid and humeral head was recorded by photography. A grading system of 1 (intact), 2 (mild) and 3 (severe) was used to determine the severity of cartilage damage. The area of articular cartilage damage was calculated using the Sonic Digitizer Analyzing System. The area of articular cartilage damage to the glenoid and the humeral head in the rotator cuff tear group was 32% and 36%, respectively. It was greater than that in the groups without a tear, which was 6% in the glenoid and 7% in the humeral head. However, it was not correlated with the size of the tear. Most of the articular cartilage damage in massive and large rotator cuff tears was located in the anterior-inferior portion of the glenoid and in the posterior portion of the humeral head. The articular cartilage damage area of the glenoid was correlated with that of the humeral head. In conclusion, the area of glenohumeral degeneration was greater in the rotator cuff tear group and was located in a specific site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine