During the physical exam, your doctor will press on different parts of your shoulder and move your arm into different positions. He or she will also test the strength of the muscles around the shoulder and in the arms.
In some cases, he or she may recommend imaging tests, such as:
Feb. 19, 2014
- X-rays. Although a rotator cuff tear won't show up on an X-ray, this test can visualize bone spurs or other potential causes for your pain — such as a broken bone.
- Ultrasound. This type of test uses sound waves to produce images of structures within your body, particularly soft tissues such as muscles and tendons.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technology uses radio waves and a strong magnet, and is excellent at revealing problems in both bones and soft tissues.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Rotator cuff tears. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00064. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Simons SM, et al. Rotator cuff tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 28, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Rotator cuff repair. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Rotator cuff tendinopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Khan K, et al. Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 21, 2013.