Patient: A year and a half ago I had a reverse cuff total shoulder replacement surgery done. Last month I tore something in the shoulder and both Xray and CT indicate hardware is in-tact and there are no fractures. How can a tear in the soft tissue of the shoulder be diagnosed or confirmed with the hardware?
Symptoms: Initially: Sharp burning pain in the upper arm. Followed by continued pain, achy, and I am unable to lift my arm more than about 15 degrees from the side.
Doctor: Thank you for your question. The X ray would have been conducted to assess the integrity of the total shoulder replaceme nt. The computed tomography (CT) scan would illustrated the soft tissue damage and tear(s). Computed tomography uses x rays to visualize bone, ligament, tendons, and muscles based on their varying densities. A muscle tear within the rotator cuff can be accurately visualized on computed tomography.Thank you for choosing AskTheDoctor.com