What is a Shoulder Ultrasound?
The Shoulder Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and bursae within and around the shoulder joint. Ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of items diagnostic shoulder ultrasound can provide information regarding:
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Joint effusion
- Mass classifications such as cysts and soft tissue lumps
- Labrum Abnormalities
- Muscle, tendon, or ligament sprains, strains or tears
- Certain bony pathologies
Should you have any concern of shoulder signs or symptoms, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for a diagnostic shoulder ultrasound.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR MY SHOULDER ULTRASOUND
There are no specific preparations necessary for the shoulder ultrasound. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the shoulder, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves; however, should you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any queries or concerns with preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING MY SHOULDER ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head, and gently move it along shoulder with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. The technician will ask you to move your shoulder into specific positions in order to capture all necessary images. Once finished, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment will be approximately 15 minutes long for one shoulder and 30 minutes for both.
Soon after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report of your diagnosis to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.