Dynamic inferior stabilizers of the shoulder joint

A. M. Halder, C. G. Halder, K. D. Zhao, S. W. O'Driscoll, B. F. Morrey, K. N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background. The glenohumeral joint is soft-tissue balanced. However, few studies have focused on its dynamic inferior stabilizers. Objective. The objective of this study was to investigate the dynamic contributions of five shoulder muscles to inferior stability of the glenohumeral articulation in four joint positions. Methods. The anterior, lateral and posterior deltoid, supraspinatus, short head of biceps, coracobrachialis and long head of triceps from ten cadaveric shoulders were tested in 0°, 30°, 60° and 90° of glenohumeral abduction. A constant inferior force of 15 N was applied to the humerus. The tendons were loaded sequentially in proportion to their respective muscle's cross-sectional area. Translations of the humeral head on the glenoid were recorded with a 3-Space™ tracking device. Results. The lateral deltoid (8.2 mm, SD 4.8 mm) was potentially most effective in superior translation of the humeral head followed by the posterior deltoid (7.7 mm, SD 4.8 mm). The coracobrachialis and short head of biceps had considerable capability to translate the humeral head superiorly (2.8 mm, SD 1.3 mm) while the supraspinatus showed the weakest effects (1.3 mm, SD 0.5 mm). Relevance. Strengthening exercises of the deltoid may be useful in the treatment of inferior glenohumeral instability, while the supraspinatus seems to be less important for inferior glenohumeral stability than previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Deltoid
  • Glenohumeral joint
  • Inferior stability
  • Shoulder
  • Supraspinatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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