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The high prevalence of rotator cuff tendinopathy in modern humans may be partly related to the shape acquired by the scapula as species changed throughout evolution. Here, we compared the anatomic features of the scapula across members of the Hominoid group. The results support the hypothesis that the scapula of Homo sapiens sapiens exhibits distinctive anatomic characteristics compared to that of other Hominoids. We studied 89 scapulae from five species. For each scapula, we measured eight parameters and determined six index. We then compared the results across species. We identified two distinctive characteristics of the lateral aspect of the human scapula, namely, a lateral orientation of the glenoid cavity and a narrow coraco-acromial arch. Similar to the gorilla acromion, the human one is steeply sloped and, above all, larger and squarer than the acromion of other Hominoids. These features may explain, in part at least, the pathogenesis of rotator cuff tendinopathy in modern man.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Acromion, Paleo-anthropology, Rotator cuff, Scapula