The Shoulder Ultrasound Scan
Shoulder ultrasound is consistently used in the assessment of the shoulder joint. It is quick painless ultrasound scan examination and readily available. It is also a dynamic examination unlikely MRI and therefore the muscles, tendon, the rotator cuff and soft tissue can be evaluated in real time and under movement.
What is the purpose of this scan?
The purpose of this shoulder ultrasound scan is to provide an ultrasonic assessment of the major musculoskeletal structures in the shoulder and assess the rotator cuff. They include:
- Biceps Tendon
- Teres Minor
- Deltoid Muscle
Abnormal fluid or inflammation around the shoulder
Reasons for having a shoulder scan include:
Rotator cuff problems
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
- Joint effusion
- Vascular pathology
- Soft tissue masses such as ganglia, lipomas
- Classification of a mass eg solid, cystic, mixed
- Post surgical complications eg abscess, oedema
- Guidance of injection, aspiration or biopsy
- Some bony pathology.
What is included with this scan?
- Ultrasound report and if needed, a follow up recommendation.
No preparation is necessary for this scan.
What should I expect during the ultrasound scan?
Before the scan our sonographer will explain the examination procedure. You will be asked to sit on a chair and expose your shoulder (a dressing gown will be provided for the ladies). A small amount of gel will be placed on your shoulder and the probe will be moved in different directions. You may also be asked to move joints or limbs during the scanning so that the sonographer can look at the affected area while it is in motion.
During and after the examination our sonographer will explain the findings and an ultrasound report will be issued to take away with you.
Limitation of Shoulder ultrasound scan
The shoulder ultrasound scan offers little or no diagnostic information for internal structures such as the gleno-humeral ligaments. Ultrasound is complimentary with other modalities, including plain X-ray, CT, MRI and arthroscopy.
Price: £129.00 (£179 for both shoulders)
What treatments are there for shoulder pain?
If your shoulder pain doesn’t improve with simple medications, other treatments are available. Your doctor will be able to give more specific advice.
Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
Most shoulder problems will benefit from physiotherapy. A physiotherapist will assess your condition and put together a tailored treatment programme.
The aim of physiotherapy is to improve symptoms and restore function. The approach will depend on whether you have a short-term (acute) problem or a long-standing (chronic) condition.
Steroid injections into the joint can help shoulder problems. The steroid is usually given along with a local anaesthetic, and you should find your shoulder pain improves quite quickly.
The injections reduce inflammation and allow you to move your shoulder more comfortably, though you shouldn’t use your shoulder for anything too strenuous the first two days after an injection. The pain relief should allow you to do your physiotherapy exercises more easily.
Most shoulder problems improve without the need for surgery. But some conditions can be helped by surgery.
If an operation is needed it can often be performed using keyhole techniques, which require a smaller incision, and often reduce the recovery time needed.