Neuroarthropathy: an overuse injury of the shoulder in quadriplegia.J Spinal Cord Med. 1996 Jan; 19(1):9-11.JS
The shoulder joint of the spinal cord injured patient is the primary joint used for transfer and wheelchair propulsion. In addition to ordinary use, the shoulder is subject to overuse injury with resultant functional impairment. Frequent overuse injuries of the shoulder include subdeltoid bursitis, bicipital tendonitis, rotator cuff tear and secondary degenerative arthritis. Neuroarthropathy of the shoulder, an overuse injury of an insensate shoulder girdle, has been rarely described in the literature. The case presented is that of an active 47 year old, right hand dominant, C7 complete quadriplegic male with a one week history of painless right shoulder girdle swelling. Radiologic evaluation documented right proximal humerus destruction. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) confirmed syringomyelia. The pathophysiology of neuroarthropathy is presented here and limited treatment options are discussed.