Purpose

To perform a systematic review of the glenohumeral ligament anatomic attachments on the glenoid and humeral neck.

Methods

A systematic review was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines using the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase from 1980 to present. The inclusion criteria were as follows: cadaveric or clinical anatomic studies that qualitatively or quantitatively described the glenoid and humeral attachments of the glenohumeral ligaments in the English-language literature. Imaging and animal studies, editorial articles, and surveys were excluded from this study.

Results

The 15 included studies analyzed a total of 983 shoulders. Only 5 studies reported quantitative measurements. The most common glenoid superior glenohumeral ligament attachment described was in the anterolateral region of the supraglenoid tubercle and was inserting on the humerus in close vicinity to the subscapularis tendon insertion. The superior labrum and lesser tuberosity were the most commonly reported middle glenohumeral ligament attachments. The inferior glenohumeral ligament was most commonly described to attach between the 2- and 4-o’clock positions of the glenoid and distally near the surgical neck of the humerus.

Conclusions

There were limited quantitative data on the attachments of the glenohumeral ligaments. Although the literature was discordant, the most common descriptions of the attachments were as follows: The anterolateral region of the supraglenoid tubercle, the superior labrum, and the glenoid (between the 2- and 4-o’clock positions) were the medial attachments for the superior glenohumeral ligament, middle glenohumeral ligament, and inferior glenohumeral ligament, respectively. Laterally, they inserted on the humerus in close vicinity to the subscapularis tendon insertion, on the lesser tuberosity, and near the surgical neck of the humerus, respectively.

Full Article: Systematic Review of the Anatomic Descriptions of the Glenohumeral Ligaments: A Call for Further Quantitative Studies

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