Glenoid retroversion

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 20 Jan 2022

Glenoid retroversion is the abnormal posterior angulation of the articular surface of the glenoid of the scapula and is of importance as it predisposes to posterior glenohumeral instability and tears of the posterior labrum.

The normal shoulder demonstrates neutral glenoid version, where the articular surface of the glenoid is perpendicular to the axis of the scapular body. 

Causes may be developmental, such as glenoid dysplasia, or secondary to trauma or osteoarthritis, especially in throwing athletes.

The glenoid version angle can be calculated via various methods. 

There is no standard proven surgical treatment and as such numerous surgical methods have been trialled with various successes, including soft-tissue repairs, glenoplasty, and bone augmentation techniques.

The rate of success of the surgical treatment is inversely proportional to the severity of retroversion.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: glenoid version measurement (diagram)
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  • Case 2: in osteoarthritis
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  • Case 3: in instability
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