Subacromial anatomy for the arthroscopist

Leslie S. Matthews, Paul D. Fadale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


One of the most significant recent advances in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder has been in the evaluation of the subacromial space and the anatomical structures within. Arthroscopic visualization of this area provides an unusual perspective of the anatomy that was not heretofore appreciated through open surgical techniques. This study was undertaken to attempt to define better the anatomy of the subacromial space as it pertains to arthroscopic surgery. Clinical arthroscopic evaluation of the subacromial space was correlated with gross anatomical dissections of 12 fresh cadaver shoulders and a review of the pertinent anatomical and surgical literature. By doing so, we have attempted to define better the boundaries of the subacromial space, the portions of the rotator cuff that are readily visualized arthroscopically, as well as those areas that are "blind" to arthroscopic evaluation. In addition, the anatomy of the coracoacromial ligament, the inferior surface of the acromion, and the acromioclavicular (AC) joint as viewed arthroscopically is presented with gross anatomical correlation. We feel that this information will help arthroscopists better understand the advantages as well as the limitation of arthroscopy of the subacromial space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalArthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989


  • Impingement syndrome
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder anatomy
  • Subacromial space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Subacromial anatomy for the arthroscopist'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this