I am not really sure why the topic of shoulder MRI tends to be so popular, but I have a few ideas. Perhaps it is because shoulder problems tend to be a bit more difficult to accurately diagnose. Although that statement may seem misleading, the majority of shoulder pain is due to rotator cuff problems, but the difficulty often lies in trying to distinguish rotator cuff tendinosis from cuff tear.
The assessment of the rotator cuff tendon is one of the most common reasons for MR imaging of the shoulder. Most frequently, the study is ordered to rule out a tear. If a tear is present, it is important to define the type of tear and quantify any defects. This information may be useful in determining if conservative care is warranted, or surgery is indicated.
Tears of the meniscus are quite common and one of the most frequent reasons for imaging the knee. In the last issue, the appearance of normal menisci was discussed. In this column, we will outline the MRI findings indicative of true meniscal tear. Typical planes used for meniscalevaluation include the sagittal images, useful for evaluating the anterior and posterior horns of the meniscus, and the coronal images, which provide a good evaluation of the meniscal bodies.