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The use of the Outlet View in Imaging of the Shoulder

Michael Crowell, PT, DSc, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT

January 29, 2014

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Question

What is outlet view, and when would its use be indicated?

Answer

The outlet view is a version of the lateral view of the shoulder.  This view gives a good look at the supraspinatus outlet.  When I say supraspinatus outlet, I mean where the supraspinatus muscle and tendon live.  The traditional theory of impingement states that the supraspinatus is compressed or impinged by either the inferior part of the acromion, the clavicle or the AC joint, leading to repetitive stress, wear and tear, and then changes in the rotator cuff.  As far as indication, the supraspinatus outlet view allows a way to evaluate two things.  It evaluates the subacromial space, and it also can evaluate the type of the acromion.  When I say type of the acromion, I am referring to three possible types.  A hooked acromion would hook down into the subacromial space.  A type II would be slightly curved.  If the acromion is completely flat, or a straight line, that would be a type I acromion.  


michael crowell

Michael Crowell, PT, DSc, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT

Mike Crowell is currently a Physical Therapist at Keller Army Community Hospital, West Point, NY and an Assistant Professor in the Army-Baylor University Sports Physical Therapy Doctoral Residency.  He holds Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Science degrees from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Life Sciences from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Mike is fellowship trained in orthopedic manual physical therapy and is a board certified specialist in both orthopedic and sports physical therapy. His current activities include direct patient care, clinical mentoring, clinical research, and teaching in numerous clinical and academic settings on topics related to differential diagnosis, anatomy and biomechanics, musculoskeletal imaging, and manual physical therapy.


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