For many years, plajn X-rays were the only available means for imaging the shoulder and, as a result, there has been a tendency for radiologists to concentrate on bony aspects of shoulder joint pathology at the expense of the surrounding soft tissues. The newer imaging methods are much more sensitive to soft tissue abnormalities, and an impressive range of these techniques has been applied to shoulder imaging:
¦ plain radiography
¦ arthrography - single and double contrast
¦ CT arthrography
¦ digital subtraction arthrography
¦ subacromial bursography
¦ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Some of these methods (such as MRI) are still under evaluation, and others have found favour with a small number of enthusiasts (digital subtraction arthrography and subacromial bursography, for example). This chapter aims to review the available imaging modalities and to discuss the relative pros and cons of each technique.