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Fibrous Layer of Articular Capsule of Glenohumeral Joint
Connective Tissue

Fibrous Layer of Articular Capsule of Glenohumeral Joint

Stratum fibrosum capsulae articularis articulationis glenohumeralis

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Anatomical Relations

The fibrous layer of the glenohumeral joint forms the external layer of the articular capsule of the glenohumeral joint. The synovial membrane forms the internal layer of the capsule. The fibrous layer attaches medially to the neck of the glenoid process, at variable distances from the glenoid labrum. Laterally, the fibrous layer attaches to the anatomical neck of the humerus. The lateral fibers of the fibrous layer intermingle with that of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles (i.e., supraspinatus superiorly, infraspinatus and teres minor posteriorly, and subscapularis anteriorly) and the tendon of the long head of triceps brachii inferiorly, where it attaches to the infraglenoid tubercle.

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Structure

The fibrous layer of the glenohumeral joint is composed of dense fibrous tissue. The fibers are orientated in a spiral fashion so that when the arm is elevated, the fibers tighten the joint (i.e., brings the bones into tighter apposition).

Function

The articular capsule of the glenohumeral joint ensures that the joint is sealed, thus, keeping the lubricating synovial fluid within the joint. It provides passive stability to the joint by limiting the joint movement. Additionally, it provides active stability but containing numerous proprioceptive nerve endings which relay mechanical information back to the central nervous system (Ralphs and Benjamin, 1994).

References

Ralphs, J. R. and Benjamin, M. (1994) 'The joint capsule: structure, composition, ageing and disease', Journal of Anatomy, 184(Pt 3), pp. 503-509.

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