Glenoid labrum

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Glenoidal labrum
Lateral view of the shoulder showing the glenoid labrum (marked "glenoid ligament")
Latin labrum glenoidale
TA A03.5.08.002
FMA 23290
Anatomical terminology

The glenoid labrum (glenoid ligament) is a fibrocartilaginous rim attached around the margin of the glenoid cavity in the shoulder blade. The shoulder joint is considered a ball and socket joint. However, in bony terms the 'socket' (the glenoid fossa of the scapula) is quite shallow and small, covering at most only a third of the 'ball' (the head of the humerus). The socket is deepened by the glenoid labrum.

The labrum is triangular in section, the base is fixed to the circumference of the cavity, while the free edge is thin and sharp.

It is continuous above with the tendon of the long head of the biceps brachii, which gives off two fascicles to blend with the fibrous tissue of the labrum.


Glenoid labrum. Schematic drawing of the transverse section. Morphologic variants of the glenoid labrum with relative distribution in percentage for the anterior labrum. a: 50%. Triangular with line of increased signal intensity along the hyalin articular cartilage. b: 20%. Rounded. c: 7%. Comma-shaped flattened. d: 3%. Absent. e: 15%. Cleaved. f: 8%. Notched. g: Central increase in signal intensity. h: Linear increase in signal intensity. The posterior labrum generally exhibits a triangular or rounded form.

Clinical significance[edit]


Tearing of the labrum can occur from either acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion such as in the sports of swimming, baseball and football. Acute trauma may be from dislocation of the shoulder, direct blows to the shoulder, and other accidents of the sort. Tears are classified as either superior or inferior in regards to where the tear is in the glenoid cavity. A SLAP lesion (superior labrum, anterior to posterior) is a tear where the glenoid labrum meets the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle. Symptoms include increased pain with overhead activity, popping or grinding, loss of strength, and trouble localizing a specific point of pain. Because a SLAP lesion involves the biceps, pain and weakness may also be felt when performing elbow flexion with resistance.

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see Anatomical terminology.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

External links[edit]