To diagnose a
rotator cuff disorder, your doctor will
ask about your injury or shoulder pain
history and will do a
physical exam to see how your shoulder is working.
Your exam may include tests of your shoulder movement and strength. If your
shoulder is painful and you cannot move it much, your doctor may give you a
shot of an
anesthetic such as lidocaine to reduce your pain.
After the shot, your doctor will test your shoulder movement and strength
again. Or you may have a steroid shot to help your doctor find out if your
shoulder pain is from your rotator cuff. If a steroid shot near the rotator
cuff relieves your pain, even if the pain comes back later, it means the
rotator cuff-and not some other shoulder problem-is causing the pain. Your
doctor may also order an
X-ray. An X-ray is a picture of the bones in your
Your age, job, and activity level are considered when
your doctor is deciding about further testing to diagnose a rotator cuff
disorder. For example, if you are a competitive athlete or have a job that
requires frequent overhead activity, you may need further testing earlier than
a relatively inactive older adult. A more complete diagnosis is important if
you are likely to continue activities that may further damage your
Basically, "dislocation" means that the bones that form the joint have slipped out of their normal position in the joint. A joint can become dislocated if you injure yourself.
Dislocations can occur in any joint -- both the large joints (such as the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and ankle) or in the smaller joints (like fingers and toes).
Sometimes, the bones of the joint will shift, but not totally become dislocated. This is called subluxation (slippage) and can be a chronic problem. While the bones...
Imaging tests that may help your doctor
diagnose a rotator cuff disorder include
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and
ultrasound. In rare cases, you may have a type of
X-ray called an
arthrogram. If your symptoms, exam, and X-ray show
that you may have a complete rotator cuff tear, you may have one or more of
these tests to confirm the diagnosis. Otherwise, these tests are not usually
done until you have first tried several weeks of rest, ice or heat, other home
treatment measures, and rehabilitation exercises to restore shoulder strength
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 07, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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