Ultrasound has been widely used for the evaluation of the shoulder, mainly for rotator cuff pathology. Developments in technology, as well as better knowledge of the pathology and the anatomy make this examination one of the most useful in the exploration of the shoulder, especially in the hands of the experienced radiologist. Ultrasound is low-cost, readily available and should be considered with plain films as the first step examination of the shoulder. Ultrasound is not only useful for the evaluation of the rotator cuff pathology and impingement syndrome, but is also performing in the evaluation of non rotator cuff pathology such as biceps tendon pathology, shoulder instability, mass evaluation, infection, degenerative and inflammatory arthropathies and nerve entrapment syndromes. Making a complete evaluation of the shoulder helps to differentiate between rotator cuff pathology and others that can mimic rotator cuff disorders. This article will review shoulder anatomy and examination technique and the different pathologies that can be assessed by ultrasound.
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