A buford complex in a division i collegiate American football player

Brian W. Wiese, Kevin Miller, Eduardo Godoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 19-year-old African-American male Division I collegiate American football player with no prior history of shoulder injury presented with right shoulder pain after making a tackle during a game. He was initially diagnosed with a rotator cuff strain with potential underlying labral pathology. Subsequent magnetic resonance imaging arthrogram showed no labral tearing, though a Buford complex was identified. A Buford complex is a normal anatomical labral variant where the anterior labrum is absent and the middle glenohumeral ligament is “cord-like” in structure. This case was managed conservatively since surgical intervention is only recommended if there is a secondary pathology to the shoulder (e.g., type II superior labrum anterior to posterior [SLAP] lesions). Clinicians should be aware of Buford complexes because they can predispose athletes to secondary injuries and can be managed successfully with a conservative rehabilitation approach in the absence of secondary pathology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
StatePublished - 2020


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