Hopkins, Andrew R., Hansen, Ulrich N., Amis, Andrew A., Taylor, Mark and Emery, Roger J.
Glenohumeral kinematics following total shoulder arthroplasty: a finite element investigation
Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 25, (1), . (doi:10.1002/jor.20290).
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The osseous geometry of the glenohumeral joint is naturally nonconforming and minimally constrained, and the joint’s stability is maintained by action of the rotator cuff muscles.
Damage to these muscles is often associated with joint degeneration, and a variety of glenoid prostheses have been developed to impart varying degrees of stability postoperatively. The issues of conformity and constraint within the artificial shoulder have been addressed through in vivo and in vitro studies, although few computational models have been presented. The current investigation presents the results of three-dimensional finite element analyses of the total shoulder joint and the effects of design parameters upon glenohumeral interaction. Conformity was shown not to influence
the loads required to destabilize the joint, although it was the principal factor determining the magnitude of humeral head translation. Constraint was found to correlate linearly with the
forces required to dislocate the humeral head, with higher constraint leading to slightly greater humeral migration at the point of joint instability. The model predicts that patients with a
dysfunctional supraspinatus would experience frequent eccentric loading of the glenoid, especially in the superior direction, which would likely lead to increased fixation stresses, and hence, a greater chance of loosening. For candidates with an intact rotator cuff, the models developed in this study
predict that angular constraints of at least 148 and 6.58 in the superoinferior and anteroposterior axes are required to provide stable unloaded abduction of the humerus, with larger constraints of 188 and 108 necessitated by a dysfunctional supraspinatus. The tools developed during this study can be
used to determine the capacity for different implant designs to provide resistance to excessive glenohumeral translations and reduce the potential for instability of the joint, allowing surgeons to optimize postoperative functional gains on a patient by patient basis.
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