Shoulder osteoarthritis: Other examinations, MRI scans, etc.

Shoulder: Other examinations MRI, scanners, etc.


In practice, a simple X-ray is usually sufficient for diagnosis and monitoring.


However, in some cases, other tests may be prescribed: arthrography, scans, scintigraphy; MRI scan and arthroscopy provide more details on how badly the cartilage is affected and enable better visualisation of its destruction and / or bone reaction.


It is unusual to resort to a synovial biopsy as its practical value is very limited.


To monitor the progress of your arthritis or during an inflammatory flare-up, your doctor may (but not obligatorily) confirm this diagnosis by prescribing additional tests for you.


This may include:

  • The most useful examination - an X-ray of your joint. Your doctor will be able to compared it to the previous one to see if there is any worsening of signs that might indicate accelerated cartilage destruction.
  • Ultrasound (examination currently being assessed for osteoarthritis) is simple, painless, and inexpensive and could, in the future, accompany the X-ray to assess the condition of the joint.
  • Aspiration of joint fluid can also be carried out. It will relieve you and will ensure that your pain is due to a flare-up of osteoarthritis and not some other disease. This act may precede a treatment procedure: corticosteroid injection.
  • Exceptionally an MRI scan may be prescribed.