Shoulder U/S Patient Information

What is a Shoulder Ultrasound

A shoulder ultrasound is a procedure used to primarily evaluate the rotator cuff and its surrounding soft tissues. The rotator cuff consists of a group of muscles and tendons which act to stabilise the shoulder joint. It is the most commonly requested Musculoskeletal ultrasound test and provides a dynamic assessment of the shoulder.

What happens during my Shoulder Ultrasound?


There is no preparation required prior to your shoulder ultrasound. Any previous X‐rays or scans should be brought along for comparative purposes.


The procedure takes about 30 minutes and will be performed in the ultrasound room by a sonographer. You will be asked to change into a gown but you will be covered except for the area required to be examined. A layer of warm gel will be spread over the area to be scanned to ensure good contact between the transducer and skin, and allows us to produce the best possible images. A radiologist may also assess the shoulder afterwards.

The Biceps tendon, Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, and Teres Minor tendons are all imaged with the arm placed in certain positions as required. The Glenohumeral joint, AC joint, Spinoglenoid notch, Suprascapular notch, and Subacromial bursa are also carefully scrutinised under imaging.

The most common types of abnormalities diagnosed with this test are tendon tears, tendinosis (inflammation of the tendon), and subacromial bursitis.

What happens after my Shoulder Ultrasound?

At the end of the procedure the gel is simply wiped from your skin so that it does not mark your clothes. The images produced will be interpreted by one of our radiologists and the results forwarded to your doctor.