This scan is available to women from 16 years of age. (See the equivalent scan for men here)
The purpose is to examine the shoulder and rotator cuff for a range of conditions. This includes assessment of the joint, rotator cuff tendons, muscles, ligaments, bursa and soft-tissue swellings.
Common examples for having this ultrasound scan are to investigate the causes of shoulder pain, possible rotator cuff injury or tears, subacromial impingement (SAI), bursitis, calcific tendinosis and degenerative changes such as arthritis.
For shoulders please wear a blouse or separates which may need to be removed for the examination.
The opposite side may need to be assessed for comparison.
Shoulder pathology is the third most common musculoskeletal disorder after back and neck pain.
Ultrasound of the shoulder (also referred to as the rotator cuff) is an excellent imaging modality for assessment of the tendons, ligaments, muscles and the associated soft connective tissues.
If you are experiencing pain, restricted movement of the joint or pain following an injury, musculoskeletal ultrasound is able to evaluate these structures with a comparable accuracy to a MRI scan.
Ultrasound has the added benefit of being a dynamic examination so that the shoulder and its mechanics can be evaluated during real-time movement.
As many as 20% of the population will suffer a shoulder problem at some stage in their life, with shoulder disorders accounting for 5% of all GP consultations and symptoms lasting six months or more.
In patients older than 40 years, the main causes of shoulder pain are adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), impingement and / or tendon pathology.
Ultrasound is a well-established diagnostic tool in the assessment of tendon tears as well as several other shoulder conditions to include arthritic and degenerative changes.
Often, shoulder pathology can result in referred pain to the lower arm and is not always localised to the upper shoulder.
However, if your pain is localised to the elbow, wrist or hand, then we have further scan options that can assess these areas too. Please check our ”Elbow, Wrist & Hand MSK Scans”