The Open Orthopaedics Journal

ISSN: 1874-3250 ― Volume 13, 2019

Elastic Changes of the Coracohumeral Ligament Evaluated with Shear Wave Elastography

Kenji Kanazawa1, Yoshihiro Hagiwara2, *, Takuya Sekiguchi3, Ryo Fujita3, Kazuaki Suzuki4, Masashi Koide5, Akira Ando5, Yutaka Yabe2
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, South Miyagi Medical Center, Ogawara, Miyagi, Japan
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Iwate Prefectural Central Hospital, Morioka, Iwate, Japan
4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, JR Sendai Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
5 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Matsuda Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan



Although the shoulder range of motion significantly decreases with advancing age, how the natural aging process affects the joint capsule, including the Coracohumeral Ligament (CHL), in healthy subjects is still unknown.


To use shear wave elastography to investigate the correlations between age, sex, and shoulder dominance, and elasticity of the CHL in healthy individuals.


Eighty-four healthy volunteers (mean age: 42.6; 39 men) were included in this study. They were divided into five groups based on age: 20s (20–29, n = 19), 30s (30–39, n = 17), 40s (40–49, n = 20), 50s (50–59, n = 13), and 60s (60–69, n = 15) groups. The elasticity of the CHL in the bilateral shoulders was evaluated at the neutral and 30° external rotation (ER at 30°) positions with the arm at the side while laying supine.


The elastic modulus was significantly greater in ER at 30° than in the neutral position regardless of sex or shoulder dominance (P < 0.001). Significant positive correlations between age and elasticity of the CHL were observed in both the neutral and ER at 30° positions regardless of shoulder dominance. Elasticity of the CHL was significantly greater with increasing age in both the neutral and ER at 30° positions on the dominant (P = 0.0022, P < 0.001, respectively) and non-dominant sides (P = 0.0199, 0.0014).


The elasticity of the CHL increased with age, and the ER at 30° position could demonstrate faint changes in CHL elasticity.

Level of Evidence:

Level 3 Case-control study.

Keywords: Shoulder dominance, Range of motion, Coracohumeral ligament, Shear wave elastography, Ligament elasticity, Frozen shoulder.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 427
Last Page: 434
Publisher Id: TOORTHJ-12-427
DOI: 10.2174/1874325001812010427

Article History:

Received Date: 8/6/2018
Revision Received Date: 11/9/2018
Acceptance Date: 24/9/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Kanazawa et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine,, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8574, Japan, Tel: +81-22-717-7245, Fax: +81-22-717-7248, E-mail:


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