The most common reason for a shoulder CT scan is to evaluate the shoulder after an injury. This could be a one-time injury or a recurring one, such as the shoulder repeatedly popping out of its socket or dislocating. The scan can help your doctor assess a fracture more clearly or identify a suspected fracture.
Your doctor may use a shoulder CT scan to:
- identify blood clots
- identify masses or tumors
- identify infections
- identify tears to muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- identify inflammation of the joint
- diagnose injuries following trauma, such as a dislocation or fracture
- make pre-surgery plans
- determine the course of treatment for your injury
Your doctor may simply order a shoulder CT scan to help identify problems with the shoulder joint, such as pain, stiffness, or clicking noises, especially when an MRI of the shoulder cannot be performed (for example, when a patient has a cardiac pacemaker).