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Imaging of the painful shoulder

Authors
Journal
Manual Therapy
1356-689X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
4
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1356-689x(99)80004-6
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Summary A variety of imaging techniques are available for evaluating shoulder pathology. The commondisorders of impingement, rotator cuff tears, biceps tenosynovitis and instability are discussed along with the role of various immaging modatities in estabilishing their diagnosis. Plain radiographs can provide useful information particularly with a history of trauma but give limited information on the soft tissue structures around the shoulder. Ultrasound is a useful and inexpensive means of assessing the biceps tendon and rotator cuff but has a number of limitations and varying reports on its accuracy. Computed tomography (CT) is most helpful in the evaluation of shoulder trauma but gives limited information on the soft tissues. When performed with intra-articular contrast, CT can be used to evaluate shoulder instability particularly in cases where magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not available or contraindicated. MRI with or without intra-articular contrast is the most accurate imaging modality for evaluating shoulder pathology allowing visualization of the soft tissues that are often the source of pain.

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