J Korean Radiol Soc.  1999 Dec;41(6):1183-1187. 10.3348/jkrs.1999.41.6.1183.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Evaluation of the Causes with MRI

  • 1Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Chung Ang University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Eulji Hospital, Korea.


PURPOSE: Various mechanical causes which induce shoulder impingement syndrome have been identified with the help of MRI. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of such causes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 54 patients with clinically confirmed shoulder impingement syndrome and a normal control group(n=20) without symptoms were included. We evaluated the incidence of hook shaped acromion, low lying acromion, downward slope of the acromion, subacromial spur, acromioclavicular joint hypertrophy, coracoacromial ligament hypertrophy, high cuff muscle bulk, and os acromiale. RESULTS: Among the 54 patients, the following conditions were present: acromioclavicular joint hypertrophy(n=36), coracoacromial ligament hypertrophy(n=20), subacromial spur(n=18), downward sloping of the acromion(n=16), hook shaped acromion(n=11), relatively high cuff muscle bulk(n=6), low lying acromion relative to the clavicle(n=3), and os acromiale(n=1). In the normal control group there were nine cases of acromioclavicular joint hypertrophy, nine of coracoacromial ligament hypertrophy, nine of downward sloping acromion, and three of low lying acromion, but hook shaped acromion, high cuff muscle bulk, and os acromiale were not found. Among 54 patients, the syndrome was due to five simultancous causes in one patient, four causes in two, three causes in 12, two causes in 22, and one cause in 17. CONCLUSION: Hook shaped acromion and subacromial spur are the statistically significant causes of shoulder impingement syndrome. In 69 % of patients, the condition was due to more than one cause.


Shoulder, anatomy; Shoulder, injuries; Shoulder, MR

MeSH Terms

Acromioclavicular Joint
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome*
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