Friday, September 6, 2013

Rotator cuff tear arthropathy of the shoulder, x-ray appearance

As we've emphasized before (see here), two plain x-rays are necessary and sufficient to make most diagnoses of shoulder arthritis.

Here is an anteroposterior (AP) and an axillary view typical of shoulders with rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

The upper view, the AP shows the superior displacement of the humeral head, the superior glenoid erosion, the acromio-humeral contact, the concavity of the undersurface of the acromion, and the loss of the humeral tuberosities = femoralization of the humeral head and acetabularization of the glenoid and acromion.

The standardized axillary view reveals loss of the joint space and medial glenoid erosion.

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