Rotator Cuff Tear

Are tests are used in diagnosing rotator cuff tears?

A Xray of the Left Shoulder showing normal anatomy
A Xray of the Left Shoulder showing normal anatomy
  • X-rays. A X-ray of the shoulder will help you doctor determine the cause of your shoulder pain. For example, it will help to determine if your pain is due to shoulder arthritis, rotator cuff problems or AC joint problems. Your doctor can look for other problems like bone spurs and calcium deposits.
  • Ultrasound Scan. An ultrasound scan can diagnose rotator cuff tears. It is painless and easy to obtain. However, it can sometimes be inaccurate.
  • MRI Scan. A MRI scan is the most accurate test. It can accurately show the size and location of the tear, and help decide if the tear is repairable or not. It can also show other problems in the shoulder such as:
    • Arthritis of the AC joint
    • Bicep tendon problems
    • Shoulder joint labrum problems


28 April, 2012