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The normal shoulder joint is capable of motion in several directions. The glenohumeral joint contributes the greatest part of the total motion of which the shoulder joint is capable. There is some argument as to the ratio of motion between the glenohumeral and the scapulothoracic articulation, but there is general agreement that at least 120 degrees of motion occur at the glenohumeral joint from adduction to complete abduction of the arm. When the arm is at the patient's side or in complete adduction, the inferior part of the shoulder capsule, of necessity, is quite lax and is believed to fold somewhat in the manner of an accordian. The capsule is obviously stretched out when the arm is at its extreme range of abduction, namely, about 180 degrees. With the arm held in adduction there is a great tendency for adjacent folds of the shoulder capsule to become adherent to one
Thompson RG, Compere EL. IATROGENIC STIFF SHOULDERS. JAMA. 1959;169(9):945–946. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73000260005009b
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