Computed tomography (CT) of the shoulder joint

The main purpose of computer diagnostics is to reveal visible changes in the tissue structure, size and geometric shape of blood vessels and nerve fibers. Computed tomography of the shoulder joint is also performed for this purpose.

At the same time, CT cannot be called the main method of diagnostic examination of the shoulder joints. It is mainly used to clarify and detail the exact cause of the disease or the general condition of the joint.

If the patient does not have certain signs and special changes in the laboratory results, then an accurate diagnosis cannot be made only by computed tomography.

Diagnosis is possible in case of a possible fracture, displacement or cracks. But more serious pathological processes, for example, inflammation of the articular tissue, pinched nerve or impaired flow in the circulatory system, cannot be diagnosed using computed tomography even by experienced specialists.

What is computed tomography, indications and contraindications

Computed tomography is an informative and modern diagnostic method, its purpose is to clarify the diagnosis and identify some changes that cannot be determined by other diagnostics.

CT is not a treatment modality. With the help of it it is impossible to cure the patient, as well as harm the general condition.

The full name of the technique is X-ray computed tomography, and people are often intimidated by the word “X-ray”. They think that during this process their body is irradiated. Do not be afraid of this, because a modern device has a very low radiation intensity.

In the process, the tomograph processes the human body with very thin beams of radiation. As a result, the doctor receives a picture. The rays affect only a certain part of the body, not the whole, as is commonly believed.

Thanks to this technology, several goals can be achieved:

  • to obtain a picture of the diagnosed area in different projections;
  • reduce the impact of rays on the human body;
  • get a model of the shoulder joint in three dimensions;
  • simultaneously examine several organs that are located near the shoulder joint.

For whom is computed tomography of the shoulder joint indicated?

Doctors prescribe a similar diagnosis for patients with:

  • intra-articular fractures, as well as fractures of the clavicle;
  • dislocation or subluxation of the shoulder joint;
  • arthritis (inflammatory joint diseases) and arthrosis (degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the joints);
  • congenital malformation of the shoulder joint;
  • neoplasms in the area of ​​bones and cartilage, which are benign or malignant;
  • osteochondropathy (aseptic necrosis of spongy bone);
  • accumulation of fluid in the joints;
  • articular hemorrhage;
  • sharp pain, intermittent crunching and stiffness in the area of ​​the shoulder joint.

Also, the doctor may prescribe a similar diagnosis for a patient who needs surgery or after it. This will allow you to see the results of the surgical intervention.

When is the procedure contraindicated?

Specialists do not prescribe computed tomography of the shoulder joints for patients with:

  • the presence of foreign metal structures;
  • mental disorders and fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia);
  • exacerbation of cardiovascular pathologies;
  • diseases of the endocrine system;
  • renal and hepatic dysfunctions;
  • plaster on the area to be examined.

Also, doctors do not conduct such a diagnosis for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, children under 16 years of age and patients in an unconscious state.

If CT is performed using a contrast medium, it is not allowed in patients with severe iodine intolerance.

Patients whose body weight exceeds 180 kilograms cannot be diagnosed.

Which doctor does the procedure?

To begin with, the patient should contact the therapist, who will prescribe the appropriate tests. According to their results, the doctor decides whether the patient needs such a procedure.

If there are indications, further diagnostics will be carried out by a radiologist. He will issue a medical opinion.

Features of diagnostics

Computer diagnostics is one of the methods that does not require special preparation of the patient. If the procedure will be carried out with the use of a contrast agent, then doctors ask you not to drink or eat 4 hours before the diagnosis.

During the procedure, the patient should not have anything superfluous, namely: accessories and jewelry.

The patient is placed on a special table, the radiologist controls the apparatus and moves the patient to his chamber. At this time, the patient should not make sudden movements, otherwise the x-ray will turn out with an inaccurate image.

During the diagnostic procedure, an X-ray device moves over the patient's body, which scans the required area. The procedure with the help of a contrast agent gives more informative results. The contrast is introduced into the human body orally or by injection.

Pros and cons of computed tomography of the shoulder joint

It cannot be said that this procedure is completely safe, for some reason it is not prescribed to pregnant women and minor patients. As with any x-ray examination, there is a certain radiation, in this case it is minimal and is approximately three millisieverts.

The negative impact on the human body begins only after 5 sieverts, which is a thousand times greater than the radiation of a CT scanner. The human body can cope with such indicators on its own, and this does not require the use of additional medications.

This technique is very convenient, as it does not require additional training.

You can get diagnosed in simple hospitals, private clinics and specialized diagnostic centers.