Red Flags – Shoulder

  • Infection – suspected joint infection needs same day emergency referral.
  • Unreduced Dislocation – needs same day emergency referral.
  • Suspected Tumour & Malignancy – needs urgent referral under 2WW (2 week wait) cancer pathway.
  • Acute Rotator Cuff Tear as a result of a traumatic event needs urgent referral. (ideally should be seen in the next available specialist shoulder clinic)

40% of patients over the age of 40 years suffering from a traumatic anterior glenohumeral dislocation will have a rotator cuff tear. Not all of these will be clinically relevant but refer urgently if weak. The presence of infraspinatus weakness may indicate a large acute tear.

Noorani et al 2019 – Atraumatic Shoulder Instability

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