Capsular properties of the shoulder.

E. Itoi, J. J. Grabowski, B. F. Morrey, K. N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the structural properties of the capsule of the glenohumeral joint. Twelve fresh frozen cadaveric shoulders were studied. Capsular strips were prepared from four different sites (anterior, posterior, superior, and inferior) of the capsule. One end of the capsular sections was left attached to the humerus, and the other excised was fixed in a clamp of an Instron universal testing machine. Maximum load, strength (maximum stress), and modulus of elasticity of these four capsular portions were measured. The most common mode of failure was tear at the midsubstance (68%), followed by tear at the clamp-capsule junction (23%), and detachment from the humerus (9%). The posterior capsule (1.0 +/- 0.4 mm) was thinner than the anterior (1.8 +/- 0.3 mm), superior (1.6 +/- 0.4 mm), and inferior capsule (1.5 +/- 0.3 mm). Among the four portions of the capsule, the posterior capsule showed the greatest strength (216.6 +/- 58.2 kg/cm2) and modulus of elasticity (683.1 +/- 228.8 kg/cm2), whereas the superior capsule showed the least strength (82.4 +/- 33.5 kg/cm2). There were no significant differences in maximum load. The greater strength of the posterior capsule may be one explanation for the low incidence of posterior shoulder dislocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalThe Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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