What is the role of ultrasonography in the evaluation of rotator cuff injuries?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

MRI is a very costly technique that requires absolute lack of patient motion while the patient is being scanned.

A small percentage of patients are unable to complete the test secondary to pain or claustrophobia.

Ultrasonography may also be used to evaluate the rotator cuff. [26]

This modality is inexpensive, convenient, and highly accurate in detecting full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

Ultrasonography can be used to characterize the extent of the rotator cuff tear and to visualize biceps tendon dislocation.

One drawback to this modality is that it is extremely operator dependent, and the sensitivity and specificity of this test in detecting rotator cuff tears vary with the ultrasonographer's skill.


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