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Milwaukee shoulder

Milwaukee shoulder refers to a destructive shoulder arthropathy due to deposition of hydroxyapatite crystals, and identification of these crystals in synovial fluid is the cornerstone of diagnosis.


Milwaukee shoulder frequently affects older women, often with a history of trauma to the region. 

Clinical presentation

Symptoms are usually comparatively mild, despite rapid and marked progression of radiographic features. 

Radiographic features

Plain film

The plain film findings are striking and almost resembles a neuropathic joint, with advanced articular surface destruction with intra-articular loose bodies, subchondral sclerosis, soft tissue swelling and rotator cuff disruption. 


MRI findings mirror those of the plain films and include: 

Treatment and prognosis

No specific treatment is available (i.e. supportive treatment for symptom relief) 3

Differential diagnosis

General imaging differential considerations include

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