Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

Is there any way to tell if you have just hurt your shoulder by pulling it or twisting it, or if it is something more serious like a torn rotator cuff?

Answer:

The only way to be sure that your injury is a rotator cuff injury is to have it diagnosed by your doctor. To do this, you may have x-rays, an ultrasound or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) that allows the doctor to see the soft tissue and any damage.

Another test, called an arthrogram may be done. This is also an x-ray, but dye is injected into the shoulder first so that the joint can be seen more clearly. R. Frank Henn III, MD, et al. Patients' Preoperative Expectations Predict the Outcome of Rotator Cuff Repair. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2007. Vol. 89-A. No. 9. Pp. 1912-1919.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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