Examination of the shoulder joint

Clinical examination is an essential element in the assessment of functional status and location of pain in the shoulder joint. The examination is always performed with the patient’s shoulder region bare.It is advisable to use a goniometer when measuring the joint mobility.Clinical tests are fairly reliable in diagnosing e.g. rotator cuff disorders and in excluding extensive rotator cuff tears that require emergency operation .X-ray is the first-line instrumental investigation in a patient with shoulder pain. If the clinical presentation is such that surgery is considered, ultrasonography may be used to confirm a rotator cuff tear .If needed, the more costly contrast-enhanced MRI scan can be used to yield a more accurate picture of the shoulder. An extensive rotator cuff tear has to be operated on within a few weeks from the injury in order to guarantee a good result.