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The Spinoglenoid LigamentAnatomy, Morphology, and Histological Findings
Kevin D. Plancher, MD, MS1; Robert K. Peterson, MD2; Jack C. Johnston, MD3; Timothy A. Luke, MD1
1 Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 1160 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10128
2 Davis Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, 2031 Anderson Road, Suite A, Davis, CA 95616
3 2400 Highway 365, Suite 208, Nederland, TX 77627-6250
View Disclosures and Other Information
In support of their research or preparation of this manuscript, one or more of the authors received a grant from the Orthopaedic Foundation for Active Lifestyles. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at Orthopaedic Foundation for Active Lifestyles, Greenwich, Connecticut, and Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, New York, NY

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2005 Feb 01;87(2):361-365. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.C.01533
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Background: Dysfunction of the distal branch of the suprascapular nerve has been reported in athletes involved in throwing or overhead sports. The consistent presence of a dynamic anatomic structure, the spinoglenoid ligament, overlying the nerve in the spinoglenoid notch may be a contributing factor to the dysfunction of this nerve. The purpose of this study was to report the anatomy, morphology, and histological characteristics of the spinoglenoid ligament.

Methods: The spinoglenoid ligaments of fifty-eight fresh-frozen cadaver shoulders were dissected to evaluate their anatomic dimensions, histological characteristics, and relationship to the suprascapular nerve, the posterior part of the capsule, and the glenoid rim. The spinoglenoid ligament was harvested, with its insertions on the scapular spine and on the capsule and glenoid left intact, for the histological analysis.

Results: Dissection revealed that a spinoglenoid ligament was present in all specimens. The ligament was found to form an irregular quadrangular shape. On gross examination, the deep fibers of the ligament extended from the lateral aspect of the scapular spine to the posterior part of the glenoid and the superficial fibers blended with the posterior aspect of the shoulder capsule. Histological sections demonstrated Sharpey fibers inserting into bone at the scapular spine and blending with the posterior aspect of the shoulder capsule to insert into the posterior surface of the glenoid, findings that confirmed the ligamentous nature of this structure.

Conclusions: This study revealed the presence of the spinoglenoid ligament in all of the shoulders that were examined, with some variation in the size of the ligament.

Clinical Relevance: In this study, we identified a complex, multilayer, distinct spinoglenoid ligament with superficial and deep attachments to the glenoid. These findings support a possible relationship between this ligament and entrapment neuropathy of the distal suprascapular nerve.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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