We retrospectively reviewed the records of six men (seven shoulders) with neuropathic arthropathy of the shoulder who were referred to our shoulder service during a twenty-eight-year period (from 1969 through 1997). The etiology of the neuropathic condition was syringomyelia in five patients (six shoulders) and chronic alcoholism in one patient. Five patients (six shoulders) were initially misdiagnosed, and seven operative procedures that were unrelated to the etiology of the neuropathic condition were performed in four of these patients. Radiographs revealed destruction of the shoulder joint and marked resorption of the humeral head in all patients. Magnetic resonance images revealed a syrinx of the central cord in all of the patients except for the one who had chronic alcoholism.