Effects of the humeral tray component positioning for onlay reverse shoulder arthroplasty design: A biomechanical analysis

Julien Berhouet, Andreas Kontaxis, Lawrence V. Gulotta, Edward Craig, Russel Warren, Joshua Dines, David Dines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Recent shoulder prostheses have introduced a concept of a universal humeral stem component platform that has an onlay humeral tray for the reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA). No studies have reported how humeral tray positioning can affect the biomechanics of RTSA. Materials and methods: The Newcastle Shoulder Model was used to investigate the biomechanical effect of humeral tray positioning in the Biomet Comprehensive Total Shoulder System (Biomet, Warsaw, IN, USA) RTSA. Five humeral tray configuration positions were tested: no offset, and 5mm offset in the anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral positions. Superior and inferior impingement were evaluated for abduction, scapular plane elevation, forward flexion, and external/internal rotation with the elbow at the side (adduction) and at 90° of shoulder abduction. Muscle lengths and moment arms (elevating and rotational) were calculated for the deltoid, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis. Results: Inferior impingement was not affected by the humeral tray position. There was less superior impingement during abduction, scapular plane elevation, and rotation with the shoulder when the tray was placed laterally or posteriorly. The subscapularis rotational moment arm was increased with a posterior offset, whereas infraspinatus and teres minor rotational moment arms were increased with an anterior offset. Very little change was observed for the deltoid elevating moment arm or for its muscle length. Conclusion: Positioning the humeral tray with posterior offset offers a biomechanical advantage for patients needing RTSA by decreasing superior impingement and increasing the internal rotational moment arm of the subscapularis, without creating inferior impingement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-577
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Lawrence Gulotta received support from Biomet Inc for consulting and speaking engagements. Edward Craig, Russel Warren, and David Dines received support from Biomet Inc. Joshua Dines, received support from Arthrex and from Conmed Linvatec for consulting. The other authors, their immediate families, and any research foundations with which they are affiliated have not received any financial payments or other benefits from any commercial entity related to the subject of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees.


  • Basic science
  • Computer modeling
  • Humeral tray component
  • Impingement
  • Muscles length
  • Muscles moment arm
  • Onlay design
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty


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