Acromion morphology is associated with glenoid bone loss in posterior glenohumeral instability

Michael G. Livesey, Michael D. Bedrin, Michael D. Baird, Andrew Tran, Tristan B. Weir, S. Ashfaq Hasan, Mohit N. Gilotra, Kelly G. Kilcoyne, Jonathan F. Dickens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The acromion morphology in a shoulder with posterior instability differs from that of a shoulder without glenohumeral instability. Specifically, the acromion with a flatter sagittal tilt, greater posterior acromial height, and less posterior coverage is associated with posterior instability. However, the association between acromion morphology and glenoid bone loss (GBL) in the setting of posterior glenohumeral instability has not previously been investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine whether acromial morphology influences the extent or pattern of posterior GBL in a cohort of patients with posterior glenohumeral instability. Methods: This multicenter retrospective study identified 89 shoulders with unidirectional posterior glenohumeral instability. Total area GBL was measured using the best-fit circle method on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Shoulders were divided into 3 groups: (1) no GBL (n = 30), (2) GBL 0%-13.5% (n = 45), or (3) GBL ≥13.5% (n = 14). Acromion measurements were performed on MRI and included acromial tilt, posterior acromial height, anterior acromial coverage, and posterior acromial coverage. Results: Patients without GBL had a steeper acromial tilt (58.5° ± 1.4°) compared with those with 0%-13.5% GBL (64.3° ± 1.5°) or GBL ≥13.5% (67.7° ± 1.8°) (P = .004). Patients without GBL also had greater posterior coverage (65.4° ± 1.7°) compared with those with GBL (60.3° ± 1.4°) (P = .015). Posterior acromion height was not significantly different among groups. Conclusion: The results demonstrate that an acromion with a flatter sagittal tilt and less posterior coverage is associated with GBL in the setting of posterior glenohumeral instability. This is important to consider as posterior GBL has been identified as a risk factor for failure of posterior soft tissue–stabilizing procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1850-1856
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy Study
  • Imaging
  • Shoulder
  • acromion
  • acromion morphology
  • glenohumeral instability
  • glenoid bone loss
  • posterior shoulder instability


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