Context: Range of motion (ROM) in the glenohumeral joint decreases with age in healthy subjects; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The process of aging of the joint capsule, including the coracohumeral ligament (CHL), could affect ROM limitation. Objective: This study investigated correlations between elasticity of the CHL, evaluated by means of shear-wave elastography, and age, side dominance, and ROM in healthy individuals. Design: Experimental study. Setting: Laboratory. Subjects: Eighty-four healthy volunteers (39 men and 45 women, mean age: 42.6 y) were included. Main Outcome Measures: Subjects were divided into 3 age groups: younger (20–39 y), middle (40–59 y), and older (≥60 y) age groups. With participants in the supine position, CHL elasticity in both shoulders was evaluated in both neutral and 30° external rotation, with arms at the sides. ROM, including forward flexion, lateral elevation, external rotation, 90° abduction with external rotation, and hand behind the back were measured with participants in the standing position. Results: The CHL elastic modulus was higher in the older group than in the younger group in the neutral (78.4 kPa [SD: 37.1] and 56.6 kPa [SD: 31.7], respectively) and 30° external rotation positions (135.5 kPa [SD: 63.5] and 71.4 kPa [SD: 32.2], respectively). Negative correlations were found between the CHL elastic modulus and ROM in terms of 30° external rotation and both external rotation (R = −.59, P = .02) and 90° abduction with external rotation (R = −.71, P = .003) in the older group, with correlation coefficients increasing with age. Conclusions: Significant correlations were identified between CHL elasticity and ROM in both external rotation and 90° abduction with external rotation with increasing age. Decreased CHL elasticity was strongly associated with decreased shoulder ROM in middle-aged and older individuals.
- Elastic modulus
- Frozen shoulder
- Shoulder dominance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation