Radiographs of the Shoulder, Elbow and Hand

This is an anteroposterior view of the right shoulder. The items to identify are obvious if you have learned your skeleton of this region.

The upper end of the humerus can be seen with its parts:
  • greater tuberosity
  • lesser tuberosity
  • head
  • surgical neck
  • anatomical neck

The parts of the scapula that are fairly obvious are the:
  • glenoid cavity
  • supraglenoid tubercle
  • infraglenoid tubercle
  • coracoid process
  • acromion process
  • lateral (or axillary) border

Finally you should see the:
  • clavicle
  • upper ribs

The surgical neck of the humerus is just beneath the greater and lesser tubercles and is a site of frequent fractures. An important relationship to this part of the humerus are the axillary nerve and the posterior humeral circumflex artery.

Again, if you know your skeleton, you should be able to identify the structures on a radiograph.

Identify the:
  • humerus
    • medial epicondyle
    • lateral epicondyle
    • olecranon fossa
    • trochlea
    • capitulum
  • radius
    • radial (or bicipital) tuberosity
    • head
    • neck
  • ulna
    • olecranon process
    • coronoid process

Now, identify those structures that you know from the study of the hand:

  • radius (1)
  • ulna (2)
    • styloid process (SP)
    Proximal row of carpals from lateral to medial
  • scaphoid (3)
  • lunate (4)
  • triquetral (5)
  • pisiform (6)
    Distal row of carpals from lateral to medial
  • trapezium (7)
  • trapezoid (8)
  • capitate (9)
  • hamate (10)
    • hook (11)
  • metacarpals I, II, III, IV, V from lateral to medial
  • proximal phalanx (PP)
  • middle phalanx (MP)
  • distal phalanx (DP)
Every now and then you will see an extra bone and these are called sesamoid bones (S)