Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bare Areas of the Humerus

The posterolateral surface of the humeral head contains a bare area of bone that is not covered by cartilage. The bare area is located between the articular cartilage of the humeral head and the synovial reflection from the posterior wall of the capsule.

The bare area enlarges with age and degenerative cysts have been described in this region. At least some of these cysts may actually represent pseudocysts, focal dimples of the bone lined with collagen fibroconnective tissue connected with the joint spaces, and not representing degenerative change.

Another bare area may also be seen on the anterior surface of the humeral head superior to the attachment of the subscapularis tendon,


  • DePalma, A. F. (1973) Surgery of the Shoulder. 2nd Edition. JB Lippincott, Philadelphia.
  • Jin W, Ryu KN, Park YK, Lee WK, Ko SH, Yang DM. Cystic lesions in the posterosuperior portion of the humeral head on MR arthrography: correlations with gross and histologic findings in cadavers. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2005 Apr;184(4):1211-5.
  • Snyder, S. J. (2003) Shoulder arthroscopy. 2nd ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia. p 311.

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