To help to resolve the controversy regarding the composition of the
glenoid labrum, thirty-eight shoulders from cadavera were examined grossly
and histologically. We used specimens for individuals of different ages so
that we could determine what changes occur as a result of aging. In
children and adults, the labrum appeared to be fibrocartilaginous tissue.
The labrum was a separate anatomical structure that could be distinguished
from the fibrous capsule of the shoulder. Neonatal labra were composed of
primitive mesenchymal tissue containing only few chondrocytes that
modulated into fibrocartilage in the first few years of life. Neonatal
labra contained no elastin, whereas specimens from adults had rare elastin
fibers. The labrum was sparsely vascularized throughout its substance, with
no particular pattern of distribution. Vascularity decreased with
increasing age of the individual.