Glenoid labrum

Last revised by Dr Dai Roberts on 20 Nov 2021

The glenoid labrum is a fibrocartilaginous structure that attaches as a rim to the articular cartilage of the glenoid fossa and serves to deepen and increase the surface area. In this capacity, it acts as a static stabilizer of the glenohumeral joint, preventing dislocation and subluxation at the extremes of the range of motion. 

The glenoid labrum is approximately 4 mm thick and is round or triangular in cross-section. 

The capsule of the glenohumeral joint attaches to the glenoid labrum. The glenoid labrum is continuous with:

  • superiorly: tendon of the long head of biceps brachii
  • anteriorly:
    • anterior band of the inferior glenohumeral ligament
    • middle glenohumeral ligament (variably)

The outer glenoid is vascular and the inner glenoid is avascular 4. See glenohumeral joint for further details of named vessels and nerves.

The glenoid labrum can be described in two ways 4:

  • clock face
    • 12 o'clock: superior
    • 3 o'clock: anterior
    • 6 o'clock: inferior
    • 9 o'clock: posterior
  • segments
    • superior
    • anterosuperior
    • anteroinferior
    • inferior
    • posteroinferior
    • posterosuperior

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