Lipohaemarthrosis of the shoulder

Case contributed by Dr Derek Smith


Patient in altercation and restrained. Following this, tenderness around shoulder joint.

Patient Data

Age: 45
Gender: Male

Off-ended fracture through the surgical neck of humerus. Associated joint space swelling with pseudo-subluxation and lipohaemarthrosis just superior to the glenoid fossa.

Case Discussion

The "surgical neck" is a common site for humeral fractures.

Identifying a lipohaemarthrosis is less common, as this typically requires the patient to remain upright and relatively static for this to develop. It follows the same underlying principle as at the knee and with other joint fractures, with marrow fat and blood causing a fluid/fluid level.

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Case information

rID: 47456
Published: 24th Jan 2017
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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