Glenohumeral joint stability is maintained by a combination of active and passive soft tissue structures and osteoarticular contact. Anatomical structures that contribute to each of these categories include the rotator cuff muscles, the glenohumeral capsule, and the contact between the articular surfaces of the humeral head and glenoid of the scapula, respectively. Dislocation may result in injury to one or more of these stabilizing components requiring the other structures to account for the deficit. For example, previous research has shown that a torn supraspinatus tendon results in increased bony contact forces during glenohumeral abduction. [1] Another common injury resulting from dislocation is permanent deformation of the glenohumeral capsule as the capsule is the primary static restraint to anterior translation in positions of external rotation. [2] Increased joint translations and rotations usually occur following permanent deformation [3] indicating a loss in joint stability provided by the capsule. These changes in joint kinematics following dislocation imply that differences in the contact forces between the humerus and scapula may exist as well. Irregular contact between two articular surfaces can lead to abnormal wear and an increased risk of osteoarthritis when left untreated. Therefore, the objective of this work was to assess the affect of anterior dislocation on glenohumeral joint stability by determining the in situ force in the glenohumeral capsule and the bony contact forces between the humerus and scapula during a simulated clinical exam at three joint positions in the intact and injured joint.

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