Original Article| Volume 39, ISSUE 4, P922-930, April 2023

Superior Capsule Reconstruction Using Acellular Dermal Allograft Secured at 45° of Glenohumeral Abduction Improves the Superior Stability of the Glenohumeral Joint in Irreparable Massive Posterosuperior Rotator Cuff Tears

Published:November 04, 2022DOI:


      The purpose of the current study was to create a dynamic cadaveric shoulder model to determine the effect of graft fixation angle on shoulder biomechanics following SCR and to assess which commonly used fixation angle (30° vs 45° of abduction) results in superior glenohumeral biomechanics.


      Twelve fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulders were evaluated using a dynamic shoulder testing system. Humeral head translation, subacromial and glenohumeral contact pressures were compared among 4 conditions: 1) Intact, 2) Irreparable supra- and infraspinatus tendon tear, 3) SCR using acellular dermal allograft (ADA) fixation at 30° of abduction, and 4) SCR with ADA fixation at 45° of abduction.


      SCR at both 30° (0.287 mm, CI: −0.480 - 1.05 mm; P < .0001) and 45° (0.528 mm, CI: −0.239-1.305 mm; P = .0006) significantly decreased superior translation compared to the irreparably torn state. No significant changes in subacromial peak contact pressure were observed between any states. The average glenohumeral contact pressure increased significantly following creation of an irreparable RCT (373 kPa, CI: 304-443 vs 283 kPa, CI 214-352; P = .0147). The SCR performed at 45° (295 kPa, CI: 226-365, P = .0394) of abduction significantly decreased the average glenohumeral contact pressure compared to the RCT state. There was no statistically significant difference between the average glenohumeral contact pressure of the intact state and SCR at 30° and 45°.


      SCR improved the superior stability of the glenohumeral joint when the graft was secured at 30° or 45° of glenohumeral abduction. Fixation at 45° of glenohumeral abduction provided more stability than did fixation at 30°.

      Clinical Relevance

      Grafts attached at 45° of glenohumeral abduction biomechanically restore the glenohumeral stability after SCR using ADA better than fixation at 30° of glenohumeral abduction.
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