Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 835–839 | Cite as

Re-examining the association of os acromiale with supraspinatus and infraspinatus tears

  • H. OuelletteEmail author
  • B. J. Thomas
  • A. Kassarjian
  • B. Fritz
  • P. Tétreault
  • W. E. Palmer
  • M. Torriani
Scientific Article



To re-evaluate the relationship between os acromiale and rotator cuff tears.


We retrospectively analyzed 84 magnetic resonance imaging studies of the shoulder. Forty-two subjects with os acromiale (n = 42; 32 men and ten women, age 25–81 years, mean 47.6 years) were compared with age- and gender-matched subjects with no evidence of os acromiale (controls). Arthroscopy data were available in 19 os acromiale and 12 control subjects. Statistical analyses were performed to determine differences between groups regarding rotator cuff tears affecting the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons detected by magnetic resonance imaging and arthroscopy. Analysis of os acromiale type, ossicle synchondrosis edema, acromioclavicular joint degenerative changes and step-off deformity at the synchondrosis were tabulated.


No statistically significant difference between the os acromiale and control groups was noted, either on magnetic resonance imaging or arthroscopy, with regard to tears of the supraspinatus (P = 1.000 and 0.981, respectively) and infraspinatus (P = 1.000 and 0.667, respectively) tendons. There was a statistically significant increased number of supraspinatus (P = 0.007) and infraspinatus (P = 0.03) tears in a comparison of subjects with os acromiale and step-off deformity (10/42) vs os acromiale without step-off deformity (32/42).


The presence of os acromiale may not significantly predispose to supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon tears. However, subjects with step-off deformity of an os acromiale are at greater risk of rotator cuff tears than are similar subjects without such deformity.


Os acromiale Supraspinatus Infraspinatus Tear MR imaging Arthroscopy 


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Copyright information

© ISS 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ouellette
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. J. Thomas
    • 2
  • A. Kassarjian
    • 1
  • B. Fritz
    • 2
  • P. Tétreault
    • 3
  • W. E. Palmer
    • 2
  • M. Torriani
    • 1
  1. 1.Musculoskeletal Radiology, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Musculoskeletal Radiology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicsUniversity of Montreal, Hôpital Notre-Dame du CHUMMontrealCanada

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