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Milwaukee shoulder

A Milwaukee shoulder refers to a destructive shoulder arthropathy due to deposition of hydroxyapatite crystals. 


The 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 intraarticular loose bodies, subchondral sclerosis, soft tissue swelling and rotator cuff disruption. 


MRI findings mirror those of the plain films and include: Large should joint effusion

  • complete rotator cuff tear
  • narrowing of the glenohumeral joint
  • thinning of cartilage
  • destruction of subchondral bone

Differential diagnosis

General imaging differential considerations include

See also

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