Dr. Rockwood, Jr. explains how a rotator cuff injury is diagnosed.
Dr. Rockwood, Jr.:
It depends on who the patient goes to see, but I think most of the time if they see an experienced orthopedist or shoulder surgeon, he can pretty well tell by the history, what the patient was doing before the injury, what the patient did after the injury.
If there’s any question in the, in his mind, he may get routine set of x-rays, a routine set of just plain x-rays, front view and side view. But then if there are still any questions, he can do a study to look at the rotator cuff and that could be done by injecting dye into the joint and do an arthrogram, or they can put dye into the joint and do what we call an MRI, a magnificent study, that will show you whether those tendons are where they belong, disrupted.
And by putting the dye into the joint, if there is a defect in the tendons, the dye will escape out and be all over the shoulder. If the tendons are intact, the dye will not escape, and that’s easy, that’s probably the best way, in the way of doing radiological studies.
About Dr. Rockwood, Jr., M.D.:
Charles A. Rockwood, Jr., M.D., continues to perform complex shoulder surgery in his private practice, and as a consultant, lends his expertise to other orthopaedic surgeons throughout the country. Dr. Rockwood has authored numerous journal articles and audiovisual presentations and has served as editor of several textbooks.