The purpose of this study was to correlate critical shoulder angle (CSA), a measurement that takes into account both glenoid tilt and the acromial index (AI), with shoulder pathologies as presented in an earlier study by Moor et al. (2013). Based on Moor et al.'s predicted normal CSA range of 30-35°, we hypothesized that a greater-than-normal CSA would be correlated to or associated with rotator cuff pathology, while a smaller-than-normal CSA would be associated with osteoarthritis (OA). Following Moore et al., we utilized Grashey radiographic imaging because it provides the clearest view of the entire glenoid fossa and acromion. We analyzed 323 anterior-posterior (AP) radiographs to identify and measure the CSA, classifying each patient into one of five groups [none reported (n=94), mild OA (n=156), moderate OA (n=36), severe OA (n=37), and rotator cuff pathology (n=40)]. Our results were statistically significant, supporting the association of smaller CSAs with OA and larger CSAs with rotator cuff pathology. CSA measurements could provide a new means for identifying shoulder pathology and thereby reduce the need for costly and timely imaging techniques. CSA values could also provide useful information to utilize preventatively with interventions such as physical therapy to alter the CSA and reduce the prevalence of OA and shoulder arthroplasties. This study builds on the findings of Moore et al. in creating a correlation between CSA and shoulder pathology.
radiology, orthopedics, anatomy, shoulder, rotator cuff pathology, osteoarthritis, critical shoulder angle, x-rays
Rose-Reneau Z, Moorefield AK, Schirmer D, Ismailov E, Downing R, Wright B. The Critical Shoulder Angle as a Diagnostic Measure for Osteoarthritis and Rotator Cuff Pathology. Cureus. 2020; 12(11). doi: 10.7759/cureus.11447.