Milwaukee shoulder syndrome (apatite associated destructive arthritis): therapeutic aspects

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O. Epis *
E. Viola
E. Bruschi
F. Benazzo
C. Montecucco
(*) Corresponding Author:
O. Epis |


Milwaukee shoulder is a well defined clinical entity that can be observed in particular in older women. It is a destructive arthropathy associated with the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate cristals, characterized by the presence of large amount of synovial fluid and a complete tear of the rotator cuff. Clinical features include pain, swelling and progressive functional impairment. The first-line treatment include the use of analgesic drugs and repeated arthrocentesis followed by intra-articular steroid administration; closed-needle tidal irrigation has been reported to be useful. In late phase we can observe narrowing of the acromion-humeral and of the gleno-humeral joint and progressive degenerative changes at the humeral head, leading to almost complete functional impairment. In these cases a surgical approach with total shoulder arthroplasty may be considered.

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