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Articles by S. J Nicholas
Total Records ( 2 ) for S. J Nicholas
  T. F Tyler , S. J Nicholas , S. J Lee , M Mullaney and M. P. McHugh

Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) and posterior shoulder tightness have been linked to internal impingement.


To determine if improvements in GIRD and/or decreased posterior shoulder tightness are associated with a resolution of symptoms.

Study Design

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.


Passive internal rotation and external rotation (ER) range of motion (ROM) at 90° of shoulder abduction and posterior shoulder tightness (cross-chest adduction in side lying) were assessed in 22 patients with internal impingement (11 men, 11 women; age 41 ± 13 years). Treatment involved stretching and mobilization of the posterior shoulder. The Simple Shoulder Test (SST) was administered on initial evaluation and discharge. Changes in GIRD, ER ROM, and posterior shoulder tightness were compared between patients with complete resolution of symptoms versus patients with residual symptoms using independent t tests.


Patients had significant GIRD (35°), loss of ER ROM (23°), and posterior shoulder tightness (35°) on initial evaluation (all P < .01). Physical therapy (7 ± 2 weeks; range, 3–12 weeks) improved GIRD (26° ± 14°; P < .01), ER ROM loss (14° ± 20°), and posterior shoulder tightness (27° ±19°). The SST improved from 5 ± 3 to 11 ± 1 (P < .01). A greater improvement in posterior shoulder tightness was seen in patients with complete resolution of symptoms (n = 12) compared with patients with residual symptoms (35° vs 18°; P < .05). Improvements in GIRD and ER ROM loss were not different between groups (GIRD, 25° vs 28°, P = .57; ER ROM, 14° vs 15°, P = .84).


Resolution of symptoms after physical therapy treatment for internal impingement was related to correction of posterior shoulder tightness but not correction of GIRD.

  M. S Kowalsky , I. J Kremenic , K. F Orishimo , M. P McHugh , S. J Nicholas and S. J. Lee

Background: Recently, some have suggested that the acromioclavicular articulation confers stability to the construct after coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction for acromioclavicular joint separation. Therefore, it has been suggested that distal clavicle excision should not be performed in this context to protect the graft during healing.

Hypothesis: Sectioning the acromioclavicular ligaments would significantly increase in situ forces of a coracoclavicular ligament graft, whereas performing a distal clavicle resection would not further increase in situ graft forces.

Design: Controlled laboratory study.

Methods: A simulated coracoclavicular reconstruction was performed on 5 cadaveric shoulders. Static loads of 80 N and 210 N were applied directly to the clavicle in 5 directions: anterior, anterosuperior, superior, posterosuperior, and posterior. The in situ graft force was measured using a force transducer under 3 testing conditions: (1) intact acromioclavicular ligaments, (2) sectioned acromioclavicular ligaments, and (3) distal clavicle excision.

Results: For both magnitudes of load, in all directions, in situ graft force with intact acromioclavicular ligaments was significantly less than that with sectioned acromioclavicular ligaments (P < .001). Distal clavicle excision did not further increase the in situ graft forces with load applied to the clavicle in an anterior, anterosuperior, or superior direction. However, in situ graft forces were increased with distal clavicle excision when the clavicle was loaded with 210 N in the posterosuperior direction (60.4 ± 6.3 N vs 52.5 ± 7.1 N; P = .048) and tended to be increased with posterior loading of the clavicle (71.8 ± 6.2 N vs 53.1 ± 8.8 N; P = .125).

Conclusion: Intact acromioclavicular ligaments protect the coracoclavicular reconstruction by decreasing the in situ graft force. The slight increase in the in situ graft force only in the posterosuperior and posterior direction after distal clavicle excision suggests only a marginal protective role of the acromioclavicular articulation. Further, the peak graft forces observed represent only a small fraction of the ultimate failure strength of the graft.

Clinical Relevance: Distal clavicle excision can perhaps be safely performed in the context of coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction without subjecting the graft to detrimental in situ force. Although the acromioclavicular articulation serves only a marginal role in protecting the coracoclavicular ligament graft, reconstruction of the acromioclavicular ligaments may serve an important role in decreasing in situ graft force during healing.

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