The relationship of age, gender, and degenerative changes observed on radiographs of the shoulder in asymptomatic individuals.
Radiographs of the shoulders of 84 asymptomatic individuals aged between 40 and 83 years were evaluated to determine changes in 23 specific areas. Two fellowship-trained orthopaedic radiologists graded each area on a scale of 0 to II (normal 0, mild changes I, advanced changes II). Logistic regression analysis indicated age to be a significant predictor of change (p < 0.05) for sclerosis of the medial acromion and lateral clavicle, the presence of subchondral cysts in the acromion, formation of osteophytes at the inferior acromion and clavicle, and narrowing and degeneration of the acromioclavicular joint. Gender was not a significant predictor (p > 0.05) for radiological changes. Student's t-test determined significance (p < 0.05) between age and the presence of medial acromial and lateral clavicular sclerosis, subchondral acromial cysts, inferior acromial and clavicular osteophytes, and degeneration of the acromioclavicular joint. Radiological analysis in conditions such as subacromial impingement, pathology of the rotator cuff, and acromioclavicular degeneration should be interpreted in the context of the symptoms and normal age-related changes.
Bonsell, S; Pearsall, AW; Heitman, RJ; Helms, CA; Major, NM; Speer, KP
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