Radiologic evaluation of the shoulder girdle

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, 30 North 1900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2119, USA.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 0.93). 06/2004; 15(2):373-406. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmr.2004.01.004
Source: PubMed


The radiologic evaluation of the shoulder girdle is an important adjunct to the clinical history and physical examination. Close collaboration between musculoskeletal clinicians and musculoskeletal radiologists improves the diagnostic performance of imaging studies. Technologic advantages, especially in MRI, have improved appreciation of shoulder anatomy, biomechanics, and injury patterns, allowing for the development of more targeted surgical and nonsurgical treatment strategies. This article reviews imaging considerations of the major clinical entities related to the shoulder.

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    ABSTRACT: A 56-year-old previously well left-handed woman presents to her family physician with a 2-year history of pain and stiffness in her left shoulder. She describes a constant ‘ache’ that became ‘sharp’ when playing tennis or golf. Over the last 2 months, the pain has become increasingly worse and she has had to reduce her tennis matches from four times per week to only once. On examination, there was a soft tissue swelling over the left shoulder with no bruising or muscle wasting. Her pain reproduced with active abduction of the left shoulder while the passive range of motion was full. There was reduced power with abduction and flexion of the shoulder. Sensation was intact in the upper extremity. Plain films and an ultrasound examination were performed (figures 1 and 2).
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