Clinical significance of the V-shaped space in the subluxed shoulder of hemiplegics.
Recently, it has been proposed that shoulder subluxation in hemiplegia is accompanied by 1) the appearance of a V-shaped articular configuration occurring between the humeral head and glenoid fossa and 2) the presence of chronic pain. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of these statements. We evaluated 40 hemiplegic subjects over 3 months. Radiographs of the affected and nonaffected shoulders were taken at both a frontal plane (0 degree) and a 45 degree incidence. From these patients, subluxed (n = 19) and nonsubluxed (n = 21) groups were formed. Pain was evaluated using the Present Pain Intensity index of the McGill Pain Questionnaire. On these x-ray films, measurements were taken of the V-shaped space, abduction of the arm, and rotation of the scapula. The statistical analysis (analysis of variance for repeated measures) contrasted the results obtained from the nonaffected side with those from the affected side over the 3 months studied. At the 45 degree angle, which better exposes the articular configuration of the shoulder, the difference in the V angle between the affected and nonaffected shoulders was significant for the subluxed group (p less than 0.01), indicating that such a V-shaped space can be identified. The measures taken also indicate that a downward subluxation of the humeral head occurs relative to the scapula without any systematic abduction of the humerus or downward rotation of the scapula. None of the results obtained from the frontal plane x-ray films was significant. Finally, no significant relation was found between subluxation and shoulder pain.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association