Ligaments of the shoulder

Find out more about the ligaments of the shoulder

Ligaments of the shoulder  The anatomy structure of human shoulders is a complex scheme that involves numerous elements and zones that should be taken under consideration. Shoulder ligaments are those parts that are always under a risk of serious traumas and injuries. In addition to this, if a person has some bone or joint problems – including chronic conditions conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis – ligaments of the shoulder get extreme inflammation. As a result of this the process is always accompanied by sharp pain and some more drastic treatment measures are needed. But let us give you some more and top-to-bottom detailed information about ligaments of the shoulder, so you can be aware what you are dealing with.

Here are the types of shoulder ligaments you need to know

Glenohumeral Ligaments (GHL)
A joint capsule is a watertight sac that surrounds a joint. In the shoulder, the joint capsule is formed by a group of ligaments that connect the humerus to the glenoid. These ligaments are the main source of stability for the shoulder. They are the superior, middle and inferior glenohumeral ligaments. They help hold the shoulder in place and keep it from dislocating .

Coraco-acromial Ligament (CAL)
Another ligament links the coracoid to the acromion - coracoacromial ligament (CAL). This ligament can thicken and cause Impingement Syndrome

Coraco-clavicular Ligaments (CCL)
These two ligaments (trapezoid and conoid ligaments) attach the clavicle coracoid process of the scapula. These tiny ligaments (with the acomioclavicular joint) play an important role in keeping the scapula attached to the clavicle and thus keeping your shoulder 'square'. They carry a massive load and are extremely strong. A fall on the point of the shoulder can rupture these ligaments with dislocation of the AC Joint .

Transverse Humeral Ligament (THL)
Holds the tendon of the long head of biceps brachii muscle in the groove between the greater and lesser tubercle on the humerus (intertubercular sulcus).

Posterior Shoulder Ligaments
The posterior shoulder ligaments, or the posterior glenohumeral ligament, help to prevent excessive internal rotation of the shoulder, and excessive shoulder flexion. It is not usually injured during sports, because most dislocations occur anteriorly. However, it can cause problems when it gets tight. This is very true with overhead throwers. Pitchers often have a very tight posterior capsule, and this can contribute to injuries such as shoulder impingement syndrome.

Inferior Shoulder Ligaments
The inferior glenohumeral ligament is a redundency of the shoulder capsule. In the picture you can see how it hangs down from the humerus...almost like there is too much tissue there. This isn't the case. You see, when the shoulder moves, the capsule must be able to stretch and adapt. If the inferior capsule was not hanging down, you wouldn't be able to raise your arm over your head. When the arm is raised above shoulder level, the inferior capsule begins to tighten. The inferior capsule is not usually injured during sports...however, it can become excessively tight if the arm is immobilized for an extended period. Ever heard of frozen shoulder? This is the part of the capsule that often tightens down and causes frozen shoulder.

Ligaments of the shoulder vary depending on location and functions. Traumas, though, are in most cases very serious and equal as to the pain they cause. There are many types of shoulder injuries and they are usually affecting the ligaments of the shoulder:

Fractures are broken bones. Fractures commonly involve the clavicle (collar bone), proximal humerus (top of the upper arm bone), and scapula (shoulder blade).

 Dislocations occur when the bones on opposite sides of a joint do not line up. Dislocations can involve any of three different joints. A dislocation of the acromioclavicular joint (collar bone joint) is called a "separated shoulder." A dislocation of the sternoclavicular joint interrupts the connection between the clavicle and the breastbone (sternum). The glenohumeral joint (the ball and socket joint of the shoulder) can be dislocated toward the front (anteriorly) or toward the back (posteriorly). Soft-tissue injuries are tears of the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joint capsule of the shoulder, such as rotator cuff tears and labral tears.

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