Learn Shoulder CT Scan

Shoulder CT Scan

Shoulder CT Scan – Learn how to perform a Shoulder CT exam – some of these instructions may vary depending on the equipment you are working on.

Shoulder CT Scan - Virtual CT Trainer Software

Shoulder CT Scan – Scanning the Shoulder

Shoulder CT Scan – Shoulder CT images are screen shots from the Virtual CT Trainer Software causing some degrading in the image quality.

Shoulder

Exam Prep:

  • When scanning the shoulder, attach the foot holder and position the patient supine and head first in the scanner. If possible have the patient bring their unaffected arm above their head. If that position is not possible rotate the shoulders so the unaffected side is not in alignment with the injured shoulder (position the patient so one shoulder is rotated up in the direction of the head and the other shoulder is rotated down in their direction of the feet).
  • Move the patient over on the table so their affected side is a close to the center of the table as possible.
  • The shoulder is typically done without IV contrast unless a mass is suspected.
  • You may occasionally get a CT Shoulder Arthrogram order. Contrast is injected into the joint using fluoroscopy and then scanned post injection. MRI has become the gold standard for the shoulder but the exam is still occasionally ordered as a CT procedure.
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 1

Shoulder CT Scan – Positioning the Patient:

  • Move the patient into the scanner until the positioning light is just below the inferior angle of the scapula if the patient is moving out of the scanner for the scout image.
  • NOTE: If the patient is moving into the scanner for the scout image, place the positioning light above the shoulder.
  • Adjust the table height until the horizontal light is midway between the anterior and posterior aspect of the shoulder.
  • Turn off the positioning light
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 2
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 3

Shoulder CT Scan – Scanning Scout Images:

  • When the patient is properly positioned – Press the confirm button
  • Prep the scanner (Scan button will be solid or a flashing light – depends on manufacture)
  • Scan your AP & Lateral scout images – Some manufacturers will require the patient to move back into the gantry to scan the second scout and some will move the patient back into the scanner as it acquires the second scout.
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 4

Adjusting Your Lines or Box to Cover Desired Anatomy:

  • Adjust the lines or box to cover the anatomy to be scanned (lines or box depends on CT manufacture).
  • When scanning the shoulder, scan from about an inch above the acromioclavicular (AC) joint to about 1 – 2 inches below the inferior aspect of the scapula.
  • When the lines or box are positioned over the desired anatomy, press the confirm button.
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 5

Shoulder CT Scan – Scanning the Patient:

  • When you have your scan area covering the needed anatomy from about an inch above the acromioclavicular (AC) joint to about 1 – 2 inches below the inferior aspect of the scapula – Push the scan button to start the scan of the shoulder.
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 6
Shoulder CT Scan - Shoulder Computed Tomography 7

Completing the Exam:

  • Look through the images for any pathology that may need additional scanning or any possible patient motion and verify that you have covered all of the desired anatomy. Help the patient off of the scanner table.
Shoulder CT Scan - Virtual CT Trainer Software - Free Copy

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Disclaimer: This training does not replace formal hands on CT training, either on the job or academic schooling. Do not perform CT on an actual patient without additional training.

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