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Diagnostic Imaging & Investigations

The majority of shoulder and upper arm conditions require the support of diagnostic services which include x-ray, MRI, CT and ultrasound. The information gained from these investigations allow the surgeon to diagnose your condition and offer you the best course of treatment.

Techniques include:

  1. X-ray.  This is available at all locations and is used to examine the bones of the shoulder and upper arm in particular looking for signs of arthritis, loose bodies or bone fragments in the elbow, fractures and other more unusual conditions of the bone.
  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scan). This is one of the current best techniques for examining elbows for soft tissue injuries such as ligament injuries and damage to the joint surface cartilage covering.
  3. Ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans are a useful and simple investigation for some shoulder problems including problems with the tendons, diagnosis of cysts and other more superficial elbow conditions.
  4. Computerised Tomography (CT scans). CT scans for elbow problems have in some way been surpassed by MRI scans but still have a very useful role where the diagnosis is specifically related to the bone around the shoulder.

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