Can You Diagnose A Torn Rotator Cuff Without An MRI?

Article by Matthew Batch

Can You Diagnose A Torn Rotator Cuff Without An MRI?

Yes. In most cases, a skilled shoulder physiotherapist or doctor will diagnose a rotator cuff tear without an MRI. In a clinical setting, a doctor or physiotherapist can use the information on how your symptoms developed, the symptoms you are experiencing, and a series of physical tests to determine whether you have experienced an injury to the rotator cuff. If this is suspected, either high-resolution diagnostic ultrasound or MRI may be considered. The research evidence identifies ultrasound as the more specific, sensitive and cheaper diagnostic test of the two options. Your imaging results can help determine whether your condition is more likely to benefit from surgical or non-surgical management. X-rays do not help decide whether or not you have a rotator cuff tear but can assist in ruling out other possible causes of your symptoms.

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