Purpose: It was the purpose of the study to compare the accuracy of sonographic and radiographic measurement of the subacromial space width, and to verify its variations in relation to the morphology of the acromion, to age, to sex and to pathologies of the rotator cuff.
Materials and methods: We compared the radiographic and sonographic examinations for 200 consecutive shoulders. The shoulders examined were divided into 4 groups based on age and pathology of the rotator cuff.
Results: We observed that the results obtained in the two different methods of measurement were comparable and statistically significant (p = 0.8). Furthermore, they are corresponded to the morphology of the acromion. Measurement of the subacromial space was in relation to acromial morphology, female sex and pathology of the cuff, but not in relation to age.
Conclusions: Sonography proved to be safe, accurate and useful in measuring the subacromial space, and comparable to what is obtained when radiography is used. We believe that measurement may be the useful completion of the sonographic evaluation of the shoulder. Furthermore, we believe that it may also support the most diffused radiographic measurement and its completion and confirmation. Sonography is certainly useful because of its simplicity of execution, rapidity of use, and measurement of the subacromial space can easily be carried out during routine sonographic evaluation of the shoulder.