Effects of glenosphere positioning on impingement-free internal and external rotation after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

Xinning Li, Zakary Knutson, Daniel Choi, Daniel Lobatto, Joseph Lipman, Edward V. Craig, Russell F. Warren, Lawrence V. Gulotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patients may experience a loss of internal rotation (IR) and external rotation (ER) after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA). We hypothesized that alterations in the glenosphere position will affect the amount of impingement-free IR and ER. Materials and methods: Computed tomography (CT) scans of the scapula and humerus were obtained from 7 cadaveric specimens, and 3-dimensional reconstructions were created. RTSA models were virtually implanted into each specimen. The glenosphere position was determined in relation to the neutral position in 7 settings: medialization (5 mm), lateralization (10 mm), superior translation (6 mm), inferior translation (6 mm), superior tilt (20°), and inferior tilt (15° and 30°). The humerus in each virtual model was allowed to freely rotate at a fixed scaption angle (0°, 20°, 40°, and 60°) until encountering bone-to-bone or bone-to-implant impingement (180° of limitation). Measurements were recorded for each scaption angulation. Results: At 0° scaption, only inferior translation, lateralization, and inferior tilt (30°) allowed any impingement-free motion in IR and ER. At the midranges of scaption (20° and 40°), increased lateralization and inferior translation resulted in improved rotation. Supraphysiologic motion (>90° rotation) was seen consistently at 60° of scaption in IR. Superior translation (6 mm) resulted in no rotation at 0° and 20° of scaption for IR and ER. Conclusions: Glenosphere position significantly affected humeral IR and ER after RTSA. Superior translation resulted in significant restrictions on IR and ER. Optimal glenosphere positioning was achieved with inferior translation, inferior tilt, and lateralization in all degrees of scaption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-813
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Basic Science Study
  • Computer Modeling
  • External rotation
  • Glenosphere position
  • Impingement
  • Internal rotation
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty


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