MRI Findings in the Painful Poststroke Shoulder

Shah R, Haghpanah S, Elovic E, Flanagan S, Behnegar A, Nguyen V, Page S, Fang Z, Chae J

This study explored the structural abnormalities identified in the shoulder joint in patients that have suffered a stroke.

MRI imaging of the painful post-stoke shoulder was carried out in 89 patients. In 35% a tear was evident in at least one of the rotator cuff muscles, biceps or deltoid. 53% showed a tendinopathy of the rotator cuff, biceps or deltoid. Prevalence of rotator cuff tears increased with age.

Results showed that stroke causes not only neurological damage but has a significant secondary affect on the muscles and soft tissue around the shoulder joint. This has important implications for rehabilitation.

Stroke, 2008, 39, 1808

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