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


Radiographic 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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Article Information

rID: 1680
System: Musculoskeletal
Section: Syndromes
Tags: shoulder, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Milwaukee shoulder (and knee) syndrome
  • Milwaukee shoulder syndrome (MSS)

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