Ultrasound is a test that uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image of your shoulder. It often compliments the information provided from X-rays. It is usually necessary to make an appointment for an Ultrasound test. Mr Lyons will then arrange to review the results with you.

How it works

The Ultrasound waves bounce back from the shoulder structures to produce a shadow like picture or tendons, muscles, ligaments and other tissues.


Ultrasound is helpful in assessing:

  • Rotator Cuff Tendon degeneration or Tears
  • Rotator Cuff Impingement
  • Rotator Cuff Calcification
  • Sub=Acromial Bursitis
  • Biceps Tendon Pathology


The Ultrasound Technician or Radiologist will apply a gel to the shoulder. This allows the Ultrasound probe to slide backwards and forwards on the shoulder to provide the images. One of the advantages of Ultrasound is that the operator can ask you to move your shoulder in various directions during the test. This allows the part of your shoulder in question to be observed as it moves. It might show whether tendons are swollen, catching or torn.

Risks and Complications

Ultrasound examination of the shoulder does not require radiation. The Ultrasound waves do not cause pain. However the positioning of your shoulder in order to obtain the clearest images may be a little uncomfortable.

The Ultrasound imaging is often used in order for a cortisone injection to be accurately placed in your shoulder. This might also cause some temporary soreness

Shoulder ultrasound