What is a Shoulder CT Scan?
Computed tomography (CT) scan (also known as CAT scan) of the shoulder is a painless radiology exam. This is performed to examine the cause of pain in the shoulder area in a non-invasive manner.
The CT scan for the shoulder helps doctors in detecting inflammatory conditions, tumors, and evaluating other problems in the shoulder such as pain, stiffness, or clicking noises.
The shoulder CT scan may be done with or without using a contrast material (dye) that is either taken by mouth (orally) or injected into the veins. When the contrast material is used, the organs are seen more clearly in the scanned images.
Explore This Article:
|1||What Is the Purpose of a Shoulder CT Scan?|
|2||How Is the Shoulder CT Scan Performed?|
|3||How Long Does a Shoulder CT Scan Take?|
|4||Is Radiation Involved in a Shoulder CT Scan?|
|5||When Will I Receive My Results?|
|6||How Do I Prepare? Do I Need to Fast?|
What Is the Purpose of a Shoulder CT Scan?
Your doctor may recommend a CT scan of the shoulder to:
- Diagnose shoulder pain due to injuries following trauma, dislocation, or fracture
- Identify inflammation of the joint
- Identify blood clots and infections
- Identify masses or tumors
- Identify tears to muscles, tendons, or ligaments (e.g. rotator cuff tears)
Your doctor may also recommend a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) test to get important information about your body’s metabolism. It will help your doctor determine the course of treatment for your shoulder.
How Is the Shoulder CT Scan Performed?
- Before starting the CT scan of the shoulder, you will have to remove all the metal objects on your body, including eyeglasses, jewelry, hairpins, and dentures.
- A technologist will ask you to lie still on the CT scanner table, which will move slowly through a doughnut-shaped machine.
- During the scan, the technologist will ask you to hold your breath for 10 to 12 seconds at certain points. Make sure you don’t move during the scan as any movement can blur the images.
- An X-ray beam will move in a circle around your shoulder and will take multiple images that will be displayed on a monitor.
In case, your doctor has asked you to take a CT scan of the shoulder with contrast, then a contrast dye will be injected into your vein shortly before the scan begins.
How Long Does a Shoulder CT Scan Take?
A shoulder CT scan is usually completed within 10 to 15 minutes.
Is Radiation Involved in a Shoulder CT Scan?
Yes. A CT scan is an imaging test that involves a small amount of radiation to show images of the organs, tissues, and bones of the shoulder.
When Will I Receive My Results?
Once the CT scan of the shoulder is completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.
How Do I Prepare? Do I Need to Fast?
Please refer to the simple preparation guidelines given below or consult with your doctor or radiology center where you are being treated. Do not forget to bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.