Shoulder radiograph protocol

shoulder radiograph protocol will depend on the age of the patient, and on whether the indication is because of trauma.

Best practice is to have 2 orthogonal views of any bone or joint, so an AP and lateral film are obtained. The anatomy of the shoulder and the position required to acquire the lateral film means that modification need to be made for trauma series.



Standard orthogonal planes can be obtained as a standard AP shoulder radiograph (which is taken in external rotation) and a lateral view of the scapula.

  • shoulder - AP (external rotation)
  • scapula - lateral (Y view)

Additional views may include modifications to the AP view (in internal rotation or the neutral position), an axial view (superoinferior or inferosuperior) or transthoracic lateral view.


Standard non-trauma protocol depends on the question being asked and the department. However, it may look something like:

  • shoulder - AP (external rotation)
  • shoulder - AP (oblique with internal rotation): Grashey veiw
  • shoulder - lateral (Neer)
  • shoulder - axial

Additional views can be used to explore the shoulder with internal rotation or neutral position.


In a pediatric patient, radiographs are almost exclusively performed because of a history of trauma and joint surfaces do not need to be evaluated in as much detail as adults. So, a standard protocol would look like:

  • shoulder - AP
  • scapula - lateral (Y view)

With the possible addition of an axial view.


  • shoulder - AP (external rotation)
  • shoulder - AP (neutral)
  • shoulder - AP (internal rotation)
  • shoulder - lateral (transthoracic)
  • shoulder - lateral (Neers)
  • shoulder - glenohumeral
  • shoulder - axial
Related views
  • scapula - lateral

Article information

rID: 28408
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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