Diagnostic ultrasound is more accessible than ever. Being able to combine imaging while performing a clinical orthopedic exam can help determine the best possible course of treatment, quickly. Multiple visits, waiting on an MRI and results, and following insurance-based protocols of stages of imaging and treatment, can slow down the diagnostic process and even prevent or delay a correct diagnosis of the causes for chronic shoulder pain.
There is a significant amount of research that has compared diagnostic ultrasound imaging for rotator cuff injuries with MRI. The consensus is that ultrasound rivals an MRI when looking for tears of tendons, full and partial thickness, as well as for inflammation and swelling.