Use of the Contralateral Glenoid for Calculation of Glenoid Bone Loss: A Cadaveric Anthropometric Study

Published:February 10, 2020DOI:


      The purpose of this study was to determine if there are significant side-to-side anthropometric differences between paired glenoids.


      Forty-six matched-pair cadaver glenoids were harvested, and their glenoid heights (GHs) and glenoid widths (GWs) were measured with digital calipers. The glenoid surface area was calculated using the standard assumption that the inferior two-thirds of the glenoid is a perfect circle.


      There was a statistically significant difference between matched-pair GHs of 0.96 ± 3.07 mm (P = .020) and GWs of 0.46 ± 1.64 mm (P = .033). There was a significant difference of glenoid cavity area of 20.30 ± 81.53 mm2 (P = .044), or a difference of ∼3%. A total of 4 of 46 pairs of glenoids (8.6%) showed a difference in width >3 mm.


      This study demonstrates the fallacy of use of the contralateral glenoid in measuring glenoid bone loss. Although many paired samples exhibited similar side-to-side glenoid measurements, the number of cadaveric pairs that showed differences of >3 mm was substantial. Caution should be taken when using calculation methods that include this assumption for surgical decision making, as surface area, GW, and GH were all shown to have statistically significant side-to-side differences in their measurements.

      Clinical relevance

      Many methods exist for measuring glenoid bone loss after anterior shoulder dislocation, but some of the current methods may be inaccurate and lead to unreliable estimations.
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