Shoulder joint x-ray is an radiography examination shown in case of suspected fractures and dislocations of the humerus, degenerative-dystrophic processes, developmental anomalies and bulky formations. Usually, the study is performed in two projections (straight and lateral), if necessary, additional (oblique) projections are assigned. The procedure is carried out without preparation in a hospital or outpatient setting. In case of emergency pathology, there are no contraindications. In other cases, the technique is not indicated for children’s patients and women during pregnancy.
Shoulder joint x-ray is prescribed for suspected dislocation of the humerus, fracture of the anatomical and surgical neck of the shoulder, tear-off fracture of the large humerus tubercle. In addition, shoulder joint x-ray shows injuries of neighboring anatomical formations – the clavicle (dislocation of the acromial end of the clavicle) and the scapula (fracture of the anatomical and surgical neck, articular cavity, cranial and acromial processes of the scapula). In other areas of medicine (orthopedics, rheumatology, purulent surgery, oncology), the study is used for suspected arthrosis, arthritis, developmental abnormalities and bulky formations.
Methodology of conducting
Usually, shoulder joint x-ray is performed in two projections. If necessary (to clarify the nature and direction of the displacement of the fragments), an additional direct shot is taken with the shoulder turning inward. For a standard radiograph in a direct projection and an additional direct image, the patient is placed on his back. To perform a side shot, the patient is seated on a chair sideways to the table, the arm on the side of the lesion is pulled aside, bent at the elbow joint and placed on the table. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes, the same amount of time is spent on the development of images, which allows you to diagnose as quickly as possible in the presence of emergency pathology (fractures, dislocations). With a planned study, the results are given to the patient’s hands after the description of the images by the radiologist a few hours later or the next day.
Most diagnostic studies, with the exception of ultrasound, are contraindicated for pregnant women. It is undesirable to carry out an X-ray, since its ionizing radiation can negatively affect the development of the fetus and cause serious pathologies in it. In exceptional cases, shoulder joint x-ray can be prescribed to a pregnant woman if it is vital indications. Only the shoulder area of the patient is exposed to radiation, and the rest of the body is carefully covered with a special vest or apron.
Children under three months old
An immature child’s body is much more susceptible to negative X-rays than an adult’s body. The main danger is a possible malignant degeneration of tissue cells that fall into the irradiation area. Just as in the previous case, shoulder joint x-ray is prescribed only if absolutely necessary. It is allowed to do X-rays for children after the age of 14.
When passing other X-ray examinations on the same day
X-rays can not be done often. It is forbidden to repeat this procedure twice a day.
In the presence of foreign metal bodies in the joint area
Metal elements can reflect X-rays and prevent their passage to the film on which the image is formed. Patients who have fixing bolts in their joints or who have metal prostheses installed are not sent for X-rays, since the information content of the resulting image will be minimal.