This study describes the microscopic and macroscopic appearance of the glenoid labrum in 106 unselected shoulder specimens. In a prospective investigation the clinical relevance of endoscopically confirmed lesions of the glenoid labrum in 46 patients is examined. Fibrillation (76%), detachment (50%), rupture (35%), and ossification (21%) of the glenoid labrum were the most frequent alterations in our autopsy material. Only 17 shoulders showed an intact limbus--despite the presence of the lesions of the labrum in 45 cases, none of the followed-up patients reported symptoms that could be related to this structure. Only in one patient, did part of the labrum have to be excised. According to the present results, we consider that most lesions of the glenoid labrum have little clinical relevance.