Blood supply and vascularity of the glenoid labrum: Its clinical implications



Alashkham A, Alraddadi A, Felts P, Soames R.


J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2017 Sep-Dec;25(3):2309499017731632. doi: 10.1177/2309499017731632.


BACKGROUND: Tears of the glenoid labrum are common after dislocation of the glenohumeral joint. The outcome for healing or surgical reconstruction of the glenoid labrum relies on the extent of its vascularization. This study aims to evaluate the glenoid labrum blood supply and to determine its regional vascularity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 140 shoulders (30 male and 40 female cadavers) were examined: mean age 81.5 years, range 53-101 years. All blood vessels around the glenohumeral joint were dissected and recorded. Ten specimens with the glenoid labrum and fibrous capsule attached were randomly selected and detached at the glenoid neck and subjected to decalcification. Sections (10-20 μm) were cut through the whole thickness of each specimen from the centre of the glenoid fossa perpendicular to the glenoid labrum at 12 radii corresponding to a clock face superimposed on the glenoid. Sections were stained using haematoxylin and eosin and then examined. RESULTS: The blood supply to the glenoid labrum is by direct branches from the second part of the axillary artery, subscapular, circumflex scapular and anterior circumflex humeral and posterior circumflex humeral arteries, as well as branches of muscular arteries supplying the surrounding muscles. CONCLUSION: This study shows that the glenoid labrum has a rich blood supply suggesting that, regardless of the types of the glenoid labrum lesions or their management, an excellent outcome for glenoid labrum healing and joint stability is possible. The observations also suggest that the blood supply to the glenoid labrum is sufficient, enabling its reattachment.

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Link/DOI: 10.1177/2309499017731632