Scientific publications

Does the osteoarthritic shoulder have altered rotator cuff vectors with increasing glenoid deformity? An in silico analysis

Dec 1, 2022 | Magazine: Journal Shoulder of Elbow Surgery

Desmond J Bokor  1 , Antonio Arenas-Miquelez  2 , David Axford  3 , Petra L Graham  4 , Louis M Ferreira  5 , George S Athwal  6 , Sumit Raniga  1

Background: A transverse force couple (TFC) functional imbalance has been demonstrated in osteoarthritic shoulders by recent 3-dimensional (3D) muscle volumetric studies. Altered rotator cuff vectors may be an additional factor contributing to a muscle imbalance and the propagation of glenoid deformity.

Methods: Computed tomography images of 33 Walch type A and 60 Walch type B shoulders were evaluated. The 3D volumes of the entire subscapularis, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus-teres minor (ISP-Tm) and scapula were manually segmented. The volume masks and scapular landmarks were imported into MATLAB to create a coordinate system, enabling calculation of muscle force vectors. The direction of each muscle force vector was described in the transverse and vertical plane, calculated with respect to the glenoid. Each muscle vector was then resolved into compression and shear force across the glenoid face. The relationship between muscle force vectors, glenoid retroversion or inclination, compression/shear forces on the glenoid, and Walch type was determined using linear regression.

Results: In the transverse plane with all rotator cuff muscles combined, increasing retroversion was significantly associated with increasing posterior drag (P < .001). Type B glenoids had significantly more posterior drag than type A (P < .001). In the vertical plane for each individual muscle group and in combination, superior drag increases as superior inclination increases (P < .001). Analysis of individual muscle groups showed that the anterior thrust of ISP-Tm and supraspinatus switched to a posterior drag at 8° and 10° of retroversion respectively. The compression force on the glenoid face by ISP-Tm and supraspinatus did not change with increasing retroversion for type A shoulders (P = .592 and P = .715, respectively), but they did for type B shoulders (P < .001 for both). The glenoid shear force ratio in the transverse plane for the ISP-Tm and supraspinatus moved from anterior to posterior shear with increasing glenoid retroversion, crossing zero at 8° and 10° of retroversion, whereas the subscapularis exerted a posterior shear force for every retroversion angle.

Conclusion: Increased glenoid retroversion is associated with increased posterior shear and decreased compression forces on the glenoid face, explaining some of the pathognomonic bone morphometrics that characterize the osteoarthritic shoulder. Although the subscapularis always maintains a posterior thrust, the ISP-Tm and supraspinatus together showed an inflection at 8° and 10° of retroversion, changing from an anterior thrust to a posterior drag. This finding highlights the importance that in anatomic TSA the rotator cuff functional balance might be better restored by correcting glenoid retroversion to less than 8°.

CITATION  J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2022 Dec;31(12):e575-e585. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2022.06.008