Subacromial Impingement: Investigating the problem
Mr. Cole will talk to you about your shoulder symptoms and your shoulder's
history. He will examine your shoulder and assess your range of movement. He
will see if you have a painful arc. There are specific clinical tests to suggest
impingement and Mr. Cole will also test your rotator cuff tendons and strength.
An x-ray can provide an excellent “picture" of bones and joints and will show if your shoulder has developed any bone spurs. X-rays are not, however, very good at showing ligaments, tendons or muscles. It is useful to look for some causes of impingement such as calcific tendonitis, subacromial spurs and arthritis of the ACJ.
Ultrasound or MRI
If Mr. Cole suspects that your tendon is torn, he will request an ultrasound scan
or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image). Both of these scans show the tendons
and can highlight any damaged areas.
An ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the body.
The procedure is painless and is particularly useful for muscle and tendon
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It uses a powerful magnet to obtain three dimensional pictures of body structures. Like ultrasound, it is a non-invasive and painless procedure.