JOURNAL OF SHOULDER AND ELBOW SURGERY, vol.17, no.4, pp.624-630, 2008 (SCI-Expanded)
The rotator interval was defined as a triangular structure, where the base of the triangle was the coracoid base, the upper border was the anterior margin of the supraspinatus, and the lower border was the superior margin of the subscapularis muscle-tendon unit. We evaluated the rotator interval dimensions in 15 shoulders from 10 lightly embalmed adult cadavers in 3 shoulder arthroscopy positions: 0 degrees of abduction and 30 degrees of flexion (beach chair [BC]), 45 degrees of abduction and 30 degrees of flexion (lateral decubitus 1), and 70 degrees of abduction and 30 degrees of flexion (lateral decubitus 2). In each shoulder position, measurements were made in neutral rotation (NR), 45 degrees of external rotation (ER), and 45 degrees of internal rotation (IR). The coracoid base lengthened with IR in all positions and shortened in ER in the lateral decubitus Position but not in the BC position. Abduction significantly lengthened the coracoid base, which was shortest in the BC position with ER (24 +/- 4 mm) and longest in the lateral decubitus 2 position with IR (33 +/- 5 mm). The coracoid base, where sutures are placed during plication of the interval, was observed to lengthen and, therefore, loosen with IR and abduction. To prevent postoperative ER restriction, plication should be made in ER or neutral rotation when operating in the BC position and the degree of abduction should be decreased and the shoulder held in ER when operating in the lateral decubitus position.