Synergy Health Partners

These 6 tests diagnose shoulder injury and guide 3 types of treatment

A complete physical exam, along with patients’ descriptions of the shoulder pain they are experiencing, informs doctors of possible injuries, but in many cases, it is necessary to order additional tests to verify the suspected damage.

The results of the exam will reveal the exact nature of your shoulder injury and the best way to treat it as efficiently as possible.

Here are six tests Mendelson Kornblum shoulder specialists may order to diagnose your shoulder pain:

X-rays: Electromagnetic test that will identify injuries to the bones of your shoulder joint. This can include fractures or complete bone breaks.

MRI: Images produced through a magnetic resonance imaging test gives medical professionals a better look at soft tissue injuries. These are helpful when assessing damage to ligaments and tendons around the shoulder.

CT scan: This cross-sectional view of the shoulder uses specialized X-ray devices. The scan will help doctors gauge damage to bones and soft tissues. It can be used when identifying pain, stiffness and clicking noises when traditional tests fail to pinpoint the injury.

EMG: An electromyogram often is considered when there is possible nerve damage as a root to your shoulder pain and shoulder weakness. The test that uses electrical activity detects the muscles response to a stimulus.

Arthrogram: Dye is injected into the shoulder during this X-ray study so that doctors can easier distinguish damage that affects the shoulder joint, its muscles and tendons.

Arthroscopy: When all else fails, doctors may use this surgical procedure to look inside the joint with a fiber-optic camera. Often soft tissue injuries that went undetected in other tests are found and can be corrected.

Once doctors diagnose your shoulder pain, the medical experts will then offer treatment options for a complete recovery.

Change in activity and physical therapy: Doctors will identify new methods of performing job or exercise routines. Physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen the shoulder’s muscles and tendons, making them more resilient to what is causing your distress.

Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription medication can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling that is not chronic and debilitating. Steroids or numbing injections sometimes are an option.

Surgery: Nearly 90 percent of patients experiencing shoulder pain can be remedied with rest, exercise and medication, but there are times when surgery is a medical necessity. Often, this option will also speed recovery because the underlying cause of the pain, such as a dislocation or rotator cuff tear, will be fixed.

Call Mendelson Kornblum at 734-266-3349 to schedule a same-day appointment.


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