Shoulder radiograph (summary approach)

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Shoulder radiographs are commonly performed for shoulder injury assessment and followup. Using a standard system to approach the x-ray means it is much more likely you will find the abnormality.

Summary approach

  • alignment
    • glenohumeral joint - shoulder dislocation
      • the humeral head is adjacent to the glenoid fossa on the AP
      • the humeral head is over the glenoid on the Y-view
    • coracoclavicular joint
      • a line drawn along the undersurface of the clavicle and coracoid process is straight
  • bones
  • cortex
    • look for subtle fractures by tracing the cortex of all bones
      • humeral head, neck and shaft
      • clavicle
      • coracoid process and glenoid
      • scapula blade
      • ribs
Medical student radiology curriculum
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Article information

rID: 47570
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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