Shoulder CT scan

Shoulder CT Scan

A CT scan of the shoulder is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed pictures of the soft tissues, bones, and joints of the shoulder. The scan is sometimes referred to as a computed tomography scan, a computerized tomography scan, or a computed axial tomography scan.

Why Shoulder CT Scan is Done?

A shoulder CT scan can help diagnose many conditions that affect the shoulder such as fractures, arthritis, rotator cuff problems, labral tears, and ligament tears. It can also be used to guide certain interventional procedures.

When Shoulder CT Scan is Done?

A shoulder CT scan is typically recommended when other diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, have not provided enough information to accurately diagnose shoulder problems.

Preparation for Shoulder CT Scan

Before having a shoulder CT scan, inform your doctor about any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medication and supplements, as well as any allergies do drugs or contrast material.

Types of Shoulder CT Scan

  • Single-slice CT scan
  • Multi-slice CT scan
  • Contrast-enhanced CT scan

Procedure for Shoulder CT Scan

When having a shoulder CT scan, you will be asked to remove any metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, and hairpins. The technologist will help you onto the CT scanner bed and the technician will then position you according to the type of scan being done. The technologist will then move around the table until you are in the correct position. Depending on what type of scan is being done you may receive contrast material. The scan is painless and typically takes between 10 and 30 minutes.

Risks of Shoulder CT Scan

Having a shoulder CT scan is considered very safe. However, as with any radiologic procedure, it is associated with a slight risk of radiation as well as a risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast material, if used.

Results of Shoulder CT Scan

The radiologist will review the exam images and send a report to your doctor. Typically, the results of a shoulder CT scan are available within one to three days.