Braden Keil Christian Fludder


Objective: Shoulder obstruction occurs in 0.6-1.4% of deliveries and suggests a mechanism for the development of glenohumeral joint dysfunction. This study reviews 178 infants to determine prevalence of and predisposing factors to glenohumeral joint dysfunction.

Methods: Data from 178 consecutive infants examined at a paediatric only chiropractic clinic between January 1, 2010 to 31st December, 2010 were collated. Data on type of delivery, intervention during delivery, birth weight, sibling order, and infant shoulder examination findings from four paediatric-trained chiropractors were included.

Results: Glenohumeral joint dysfunction was apparent in 131 (73.6%). Prevalence was increased with Caesarean section (78.7%) compared to vaginal delivery (71.8%), in non-firstborns (77.7%) compared to firstborns (69.0%), in birth weight >3.5kg (76.8%) compared to <3.5kg (70.8%). Right shoulder (81.7%) was more frequently affected than left (18.3%).

Conclusion: Glenohumeral joint dysfunction is a common presentation to a paediatric chiropractic clinic. This study found Caesarean delivery, non-firstborn, female, and increased weight were associated with increased prevalence of glenohumeral dysfunction; however, statistical significance was not reached for these factors. Subcohort analysis found significant positive linear correlation of glenohumeral joint dysfunction with increasing weight in firstborns and longer gestation length in females.