X-ray of the Rotator Cuff

X-ray picture in AP projection

Mild rates of the damages of the rotator cuff are, of course, mute in the X-ray. If there are more serious damages, some changes are seen in the X-ray. In our opinion, following literary data are not quite reliable.


Review of X-ray signs of damages of the rotator cuff in AP projection

  1. cysts and sclerosis of the head of the humerus

    2.   a structural irregularity of a cortex of the tuberculum majus of the humerus

    3.   in the area of the attachment of tendons sclerosis and ditch of the sulcus between tuberculum 

          majus and surface of the joint

    4.  sclerosis of the inferior surface of the acromion

    5.  presence of calcifications in the area of the rotator cuff



Comparative X-ray picture of both shoulders

An elevation of the head of the humerus on the affected side, and a decrease of the space between the head of the humerus and acromion have to be frequent at the affection of the rotator cuff (bursitis has an enlargement of the subacromial space).



X-ray picture 60 degrees of the inner rotation

It demonstrates typical impressions on the head of the humerus, or calcic deposits in the area of m. infraspinatus.



Nowadays we think that X-ray judging of the rotator cuff is not reliable, very often misleading.  Because examining methods as MRI and ultrasound, which directly show the rotator cuff, are accessible, X-ray examination at the suspicion of pathology of the rotator cuff is completely unsuitable.