Humeral head bare area

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 20 Jan 2024

The humeral head bare area is the posterosuperior surface of the humeral head that is not covered by cartilage, limited anteriorly by the cartilage and posteriorly by the insertion of the infraspinatus tendon. It lies between the articular cartilage of the humeral head and the synovial reflection from the posterior wall of the joint capsule 1. Another bare area may also be seen on the anterior surface of the humeral head superior to the attachment of the subscapularis tendon.

This area enlarges with age, and subcortical pseudocysts, lined with collagenous fibro-connective tissue connected to the joint spaces, may appear in this area and do not represent a degenerative change 1-3.

The presence of a bare area of bone on the posterolateral surface of the humeral head was first described by A F De Palma ref.

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