Scapular Notching

David Dare, Joshua S. Dines, Collin Tebo, T. Bradley Edwards, Edward V. Craig, David M. Dines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Developed in 1985, the Grammont-style reverse total shoulder arthroplasty offered a biomechanical advantage for the deltoid muscle as well as predictably reduced pain and improved shoulder function in rotator cuff-deficient shoulders. Despite favorable outcomes, reverse total shoulder arthroplasty is associated with a unique set of complications, one of which is scapular notching. Scapular notching is believed to be a result of mechanical impingement of the humeral component on the lateral scapular pillar. Although it appears that scapular notching progresses with time, its effect on implant survivorship and clinical outcomes is unknown. Factors associated with scapular notching are categorized into several groups, including patient-specific risk factors, surgical approach and technique, and prosthetic design. Surgical strategies to reduce the rate of scapular notching include inferior positioning of the glenosphere, inferior tilting of the glenosphere, and increasing the size of the glenosphere. A lateralized center of rotation and a decreased humeral shaft-neck angle also decrease the incidence of scapular notching. As the indications for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty expand, it is important for orthopaedic surgeons to understand the etiology and incidence, predictive factors, and clinical relevance of scapular notching as well as strategies to avoid it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalInstructional course lectures
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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