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    What does an X-ray of the shoulder show?

    Posted by RemakeHealth Staff on Mon, Jul 19, 2010

    xray shoulderX-rays are frequently used to evaluate the bones of the shoulder. If you've injured your shoulder, have chronic shoulder pain, or are going to have shoulder surgery, your doctor will probably order an x-ray. On your doctor's order for the X-ray you might see:

    "r/o fracture" -  a fracture is a break in the bone.

    "r/o tendinitis"- tendinitis refers to inflammation or injury to the ligaments and tendons around your shoulder.

    "r/o djd" - djd is short for degenerative joint disease. It is a generic term that is used to describe bone spurs, joint narrowing, etc.

    (FYI - "r/o" is short for "rule out")

    An X-ray  of the shoulder will evaluate:


    A shoulder X-ray will include the shoulder joint which includes the humerus bone, scapula, and the clavicle. Parts of the chest are also seen in a shoulder x-ray. An x-ray can detect bone fractures, tumors, infection and evaluate post-surgical changes. The x-ray can also determine the extent of degenerative changes (arthritis) and be used for pre-operative planning for surgery.

    Soft Tissues

    X-rays are not very good at evaluating the soft tissues around your shoulder in detail. For example an x-ray will not be able to look at the tendons and ligaments that make up the rotator cuff. However, it can pick up indirect signs of tendon injury such as calcium deposits.

    Your Shoulder X-ray

    A shoulder X-ray generally takes about 5-10 minutes or so to complete. You'll probably be asked to change into a gown. If you are going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing and remember to remove all metal near your shoulder (eg necklaces) before going into the X-ray room.  Shoulder x-rays may include views which require you to move your arm. X-rays do not require preauthorization from your insurance company but you do need a valid doctor's prescription.

    Have you had a Shoulder X-ray? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.



    I had an X-ray which basically was a waste of time to tell me I need a MRI. I have a metal knee replacement and fear of an MRI will cause me more problem. What should I do will the tender/torn musculars heal on their own? Thank you

    posted @ Monday, February 04, 2013 11:37 AM by

    I had a shoulder cuff and tendon  
    operation in 2010,my shoulder is still the same now as before the op,local gp sent me for an xray last week,radiographer said there was metal showing in the xray ,would that be the anchors they use,thanks Phil

    posted @ Wednesday, July 16, 2014 2:23 PM by PHIL REES

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