Continuing Education Activity
The glenohumeral joint is a complex joint that lacks innate stability; the humeral head relies heavily on the ligaments of the shoulder and the rotator cuff to maintain stability. The humeral head stabilizes against the glenoid, which is the lateral articular extension of the scapula. The glenoid is a relatively shallow dish that has multiple morphologies. It is located on the lateral scapula and is the socket portion of the shoulder joint that meets to articulate the humeral head. Fractures to the glenoid are often seen in association with various shoulder instability patterns, although isolated fracture can occur less commonly following direct axial loading forces to the glenoid vault or rim. Glenoid fossa fractures often present with other injuries and are the result of blunt trauma or high-velocity sporting injuries where the humeral head forcefully abuts the glenoid fossa. There have been several glenoid fracture classifications based on the mechanism of injury, location of the fracture, and specific fracture pattern following injury. Traumatic glenoid injuries encompass a wide range of clinical severity and complexity. This activity addresses the interprofessional team's clinical evaluation and management of glenoid fractures.
- Explain why the glenohumeral joint is inherently unstable.
- Describe the fracture classifications associated with the glenohumeral joint.
- Review the range of outcomes expected with the management of glenohumeral joint instability.
- Summarize the interprofessional team approach to the evaluation and treatment of glenohumeral joint fractures and instability.