A shoulder injury or a recurring shoulder problem are the primary reasons people seek out a shoulder CT scan.
A common problem with the shoulder is instability, in which the joint “pops out” (dislocates) repeatedly. But a CT scan in Farmington can detect problems and their root causes very efficiently.
Computed tomography (also referred to as CT or CAT scan) is designed to generate cross-sectional imagery. Using specialized X-Ray cameras, the CT allows doctors internal views of soft tissue and bone, so they can identify anomalies. CTs can also show blood clots and tumors.
Sometimes used in tandem with contrast dye, this CT method allows analysis of even more complex internal structures. The dye reveals more about the nature of the injury involved.
CTs are usually employed to identify the source of symptoms like clicking or popping, pain and stiffness in the joint. But they’re required when patients can’t undergo MRIs, due to the presence of a pacemaker.
Are there risks?
CT technology presents very few risks but there are a few which patients should be aware of.
When contrast dye is used, for example, patients may experience an allergic reaction, or problems with the kidneys. Kidney problems are far more likely for those patients whose kidneys have been compromised by infection or disease.
Dyes in use now have eliminated some of these risks.
Of course, there is a minimal exposure to radiation during a CT scan. While considered safe for adults, if you’re pregnant, the CT scan can present a risk to the fetus. Advise your technician if you’re pregnant or believe you may be pregnant.
How it’s done
A shoulder CT scan in Farmington, with the state’s leading radiologists at X-Ray Associates of New Mexico, is an experience of patient-centered excellence.
Your technician will guide you through your preparation for the test, asking that you remove all jewelry and put a hospital gown on. You’ll then be asked to lie down on a bench.
If your procedure requires the injection of contrast dye, you’ll be fitted with an IV (which is similar in intensity to having a blood test). You may be guided into a variety of positions to render better quality, more accurate images and asked to hold your breath during individual scans to prevent blurred images.
The bench you’re lying on will be guided by remote into the CT machine, which will rotate as the bench is moved forward and back to facilitate imaging.
Typically, your CT scan will take about 30 to 45 minutes of your time, after which you’ll change back into your street clothes and continue with your day.
Your results are usually ready in about a day. Your doctor will schedule an appointment to discuss them with you and to outline possible therapeutic responses.
Shoulder CT scan in Farmington
For over 6 decades, X-Ray Associates of New Mexico has been delivering state-of-the-art care to patients all over New Mexico. Our 6 facilities are renowned for their quality of care and advanced equipment.