Shoulder Dictionary



Lateral and upward extension of the arm.


It is also called “acromioclavicular joint” and consists of the external end of the collarbone and inner part of the acromion.


Bringing the arm closer to the body


It is also called “shoulder level“ and defines the bony processus of the acromion which projects beyond the humerus. The humerus is thus protected by a “roof”. 


Miniature milling cutter used for removing and smoothing the bone at the acromion.


Removing/milling off bones at the acromion

ALPSA Lesion

Healed damages at the cartilaginous labrum of the joint capsule. A diagnosis can be made during an endoscopic examination.

Ambrill Lesion

Term for a constitutional instability of the shoulder in several directions


A shoulder arthrosis – also called omarthrosis – is defined as a degenerative change of the shoulder joint. Two different types of shoulder arthrosis are to be distinguished. The first type – the idiopathic shoulder joint arthrosis – is not due to previous diseases, but to a constitutional, insufficiently developed articular cartilage. The second type – the secondary shoulder arthrosis – originates from e.g. previous diseases such as arthritis (rheumatic arthritis) or an accident with humerus fracture (fracture of the upper arm) respectively a fracture of the head of the humerus.

Arthroscopy (Endoscopy)

Examination of the shoulder joint by use of a speculum. A diagnosis can be made of the shoulder problem by inserting an endoscope which is inserted into the shoulder interior via a minimal incision. Furthermore minimal-invasive surgical interventions can be carried out under supervision by use of special instruments.




Bankart Lesion

Damage resp. crack at the cartilaginous labrum of the joint capsule at the edge of the shoulder joint socket.  This lesion occurs mostly in line with a shoulder luxation, i.e. during an accident.


Taking a tissue sample during a surgical intervention

Rupture of Biceps Tendon

Rupture of the long biceps tendon, which mostly occurs directly at the top of the shoulder. It frequently originates from the incarcerated tendon below the acromion due to an impingement syndrome.

Bursa sub-acromialis

Bursa below the acromion


Inflammation and mostly also swelling of the bursa - more information....


Endoscopic examination of the shoulder bursa by use of a speculum


Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder

Please refer to More information...


Very rarely occurring “degeneration“ of the synovial membrane

Chondroplasty (abrasion arthroplasty)

This operation method is used in case of damaged cartilage at the head of the humerus or at the joint capsule. The old cartilage is milled off (mostly by endoscopy) aiming at the formation of replacement cartilage (bio-prosthesis) which, however, has a lower weight-bearing capacity than the original cartilage. 



Fracture of Clavicle

Fracture of the collarbone

Constant Score

Term for a clinical assessment method of the shoulder by including the factors “pain”, “function” and “usability in everyday life”. This method is very common in Germany and Europe.


Also called „beak-shaped process of the scapula“. Bony projection at the front of the scapula to which various muscles and ligaments are attached

Copeland Shoulder /Cup Prosthesis

Artificial joint replacement in form of a so-called surface replacement; a “metal cap” is put on the head of the humerus.


Application of ice which is very effective, particularly during acute phases.


Defect Arthropathy

Massive crack in the rotator cuff

Delta Prosthesis

Artificial shoulder joint – also called inverse shoulder joint – as its structure is exactly opposite to the original joint.

Deltoideus / Deltoid Muscle

Clearly visible muscle on the shoulder top side. The deltoid muscle of power athletes and bodybuilders is often impressively pronounced in form of very broad shoulders.


Enchondromatosis / Morbus Ollier

Rare and congenital bone disease. If the shoulder is concerned, mostly the head of the humerus and/or the upper arm shaft are affected. This disease usually features benign chondrocyte tumours which, however, can degenerate into malign tumours.


Identical to „arthroscopy“ – see above


Abbreviation for endoscopic sub-acromial decompression


Abbreviation for “extracorporeal shock wave therapy“, also called lithotripsy. It is a non-surgical method to remove calcium deposits at the shoulder. 


Abbreviation for "electro-thermally assisted capsule shrinkage“. The shoulder joint capsule is shrunk by use of an electrode or by applying laser technology during an endoscopic surgical intervention.


Stretching of the arm in the shoulder



Bending of the arm in der shoulder

Floating Shoulder

Simultaneous, rarely occurring rupture of collarbone and neck of the scapula

Frozen Shoulder

Also called “stiffened“ shoulder. The shoulder joint is adhered. Various causes and stages are to be distinguished. More information....



GLAD Lesion

Damage, which is mostly due to instability of the shoulder joint, of the glenoid cavity cartilage near to the cartilaginous labrum. The cartilaginous labrum, however, is not damaged.


Glenoid cavity covered by a cartilaginous layer.

Glenoid Replacement

Artificial glenoid cavity if the cartilaginous layer is damaged.

Grammont Prosthesis

See above – „delta prosthesis“


HAGL Lesion

Avulsion of the shoulder joint capsule at its insertion at the head of the humerus

Hemi-prosthesis (Hemi-arthroplasty)

Artificial shoulder joint; usually only the head of the humerus is replaced.

Hill Sachs-Defect

Indentation at the head of the humerus as consequence of a shoulder luxation.

Necrosis of Humerus Head

The head of the humerus dies off for unknown reasons.



This term (pronounced "impinschment") originates from the Anglo-American language area. With reference to the shoulder its meaning is “ incarceration below the acromion.”

Infraspinatus (also called Musculus infraspinatus)

Muscle which is responsible for the external rotation of the arm and the centric stabilization of the shoulder joint.

Inverse Shoulder Prosthesis

See above – „delta prosthesis“


For sure, there is nobody who does not know an injection. With reference to the shoulder a very specific, partly dramatic significance is given to this term. 


Penetrating the body as e.g. during operations



(also called „limbus“) = cartilaginous labrum at the edge of the joint. It further stabilizes the humerus in the joint.


Abbreviation for "laser assisted capsule shrinkage“




See above – „labrum“


Dislocation of shoulder joint



Small possible surgical intervention, mostly by use of an endoscope. Also known as “keyhole operation”. 

Morbus Ollier

Rare and congenital bone disease, characterized by a disordered growth in length.


Abbreviation for „micro-traumatic instability“; due to repeated micro-traumas (micro-fine injuries)


Abbreviation for magnetic resonance tomography; also called „nuclear spin tomography“. It is a diagnostic technique to illustrate non-bony, internal organs and tissues

Mumford Operation

Endoscopic, minimal-invasive or open (larger incision) removal resp. milling-off of the collarbone end, if the acromioclavicular joint is worn.


Necrosis of Humerus Head

The head of the humerus gradually dies off due to a circulatory disturbance


Inflammation of the shoulder joint


Wear/abrasion of the cartilage in the shoulder joint.


Term used in the sports medicine.


Partial Rupture

Partial tear

PASTA Lesion

English abbreviation for "partial articular supraspinatus tendon avulsion"; in other words: partial rupture of the rotator cuff close to the joint (at the bottom side of the supraspinatus muscle).


Disease of the tissue around the shoulder, also called “periarthropathia humeruscapulari”. This disease features paining irritations respectively inflammations of the tendons attached to the shoulder joint, partly including calcifications and restricted movements. 

Plexus brachialis

Nerve plexus between the cervical spine and the neck-shoulder-arm area


According to literal translation: apparent paralysis, i.e. paralysed mobility of the arm, caused e.g. by a fresh rotator cuff rupture. 

Psychotherapeutic Drugs

Medicaments/tranquilizers which influence the psyche. They are also frequently applied in the analgesic therapy due to their partly positive effect on the perception of pain.


Fixation respectively guiding device of the long biceps tendon in the joint area towards the humerus shaft. The pulley consists of muscles and ligaments at the shoulder.



Abbreviation for "rotator cuff defect arthropathy".


Reduction of a joint following its luxation.

Rockwood Classification

The degree of separation of the acromioclavicular joint is classified and listed as Tossy 1, Tossy 2, Tossy 3 …

Rotator Interval

Area of the front upper shoulder capsule area between the subscapularis- and supraspinatu muscle, where the capsule and the shoulder muscles are thinnest

Rotator Cuff

Tendon cuff which surrounds the head of the humerus and centres it in the joint capsule during joint movements. It comprises four tendons: the subscapularis-tendon – it is attached to the front of the humerus head and directly passes into the subscapularis muscle, which originates from the back inside of the scapula. The supraspinatus-tendon – it is centrally attached to the top of the humerus head and directly passes into the supraspinatus muscle which is located in the upper part of the shoulder towards the neck. The infraspinatus-tendon – it is attached at the back of the humerus head and directly passes into the infraspinatus muscle which is outside on the scapula and mostly covers it. The teres minor-tendon – it is also attached at the back of the humerus head, below the infraspinatus-tendon. The teres minor tendon directly passes into the teres minor muscle which is also located outside on the scapula, partly under the infraspinatus muscle. These four tendon-muscle-cords are responsible for stabilizing and centering the humerus head in the glenoid cavity. In most cases the rotator cuff is damaged by inflammations, cracks, calcifications at the supraspinatus-tendon, swellings and inflammations of the bursa (Bursitis).



Synonym for ESD

SAPHO Syndrome

Very complex clinical picture. We recommend reading the internet pages of


Abbreviation for “subacromial syndrome“. See also Impingement


Shoulder blade

Scapula alata

Protruding shoulder blade.

Shoulder Entrapment Syndrome

Please continue reading here

Shoulder Cap Prosthesis

See above – „Copeland Shoulder/cup prosthesis”

Shoulder Pain

Please continue reading here

Sick Scapula

Pathological changed kinesic behaviour of the scapula; mainly sportsmen suffer from it.

SLAP Lesion

Cracks in the cartilaginous labrum at the upper edge of the joint socket which occur – above others – in sports with extreme strain of shoulder and arm (for example various kinds of handball).

Sternoclavicular Joint

Joint between the inner end of the collarbone and the breastbone

Shock Wave Therapy

In case of the shoulder the shock wave therapy is administered for initiating a healing process: existing calcium deposits are activated to disintegrate.

Subacromial Stenosis

See Impingement

Subacromial Space

Term for the very important zone outside and inside the shoulder main joint, i.e. the area between the acromion and the head of the humerus where the bursa and the rotator cuff are located. If this space has become too narrow, the concerned person suffers from the  impingement.


The musculus subscapularis (subscapular muscle) in one of the posterior muscles of the rotator cuff. Entirely covering the inside of the scapula, it is responsible for the adduction of the arm (i.e. bringing the arm closer to the body), the retroversion (i.e. stretching the arm backwards) and the internal rotation of the arm. In addition to the shoulder aid-training this muscle can further be strengthened by rowing in sitting position. This exercise contributes to stabilizing the joint and consequently alleviating shoulder problems.


Partial dislocation of the shoulder.

Sulcus bicipitalis

Bony sliding groove of the biceps tendon, at the front of the humerus head


The muscle/tendon which is most often damaged – mainly due to the impingement


Synovial membrane at the inside of the shoulder capsule; it produces the “lubricating” synovial fluid.

Synovial Chondromatosis

Rare disease. It is characterised by a degenerating synovial membrane which converts into cartilage.



Inflamed irritated state of the tendon – for example – at the supraspinatus muscle or at the long biceps tendon.

Tendinitis calcarea (Tendinosis calcarea)

Calcium deposits in the shoulder area. Contrary to the general assumption that the formation of calcium deposits in the shoulder area is still not clarified, we support the following hypothesis: so-called calcium deposits in various areas are due to recurring increased pressure which will lead to inflammations respectively scarring of the tendons which are possibly wrongly described as “calcifications! More information....


Fixation of a tendon – for example – of the long biceps tendon.


Transection of a tendon

Teres minor

Posterior muscle of the rotator cuff

Tossy Classification

The degree of separation of the acromioclavicular joint is classified and listed as Tossy 1, Tossy 2, Tossy 3 …

Total Arthroplasty (Total Shoulder)

Completely artificial shoulder joint, artificial socket of the joint, artificial head of the humerus.

TUBS Lesion

See above – „Bankart Lesion“ = damage resp. crack at the cartilaginous labrum of the joint capsule at the edge of the shoulder joint socket.  This lesion occurs mostly in line with a shoulder luxation, i.e. during an accident.


Velpeau Phenomenon

Elevation of the humerus head as consequence of a large crack in the rotator cuff

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 22.02.2022

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