Shoulder MRI Scans: The best test to understand the causes for your symptoms

Welcome to Vitalscan, where precise diagnostics meet unparalleled care. 


Our state-of-the-art MRI scan offers comprehensive insights into the shoulder joint, identifying issues related to tendons, ligaments, the joint capsule, joint articular surface and more.

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Your Guide to Cutting-Edge Shoulder MRI Scans

Are you troubled by persistent shoulder pain or discomfort? Our Radiology Clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating a spectrum of shoulder ailments, offering state-of-the-art Shoulder MRI scans reported by experienced specialist Consultant Radiologists. Whether it’s identifying frozen shoulder causes, assessing rotator cuff pain treatment options, or examining shoulder instability, our dedicated team is committed to providing precise diagnoses to allow tailored treatment.

Unlocking Precision Diagnosis with Shoulder MRI Tests

Understanding Shoulder Conditions

Shoulder discomfort can arise from various conditions, including frozen shoulder, adhesive capsulitis, shoulder dislocation, ligament tears, arthritis, and more. Our advanced Shoulder MRI tests delve deep into the intricate structures of your shoulder, and can offer unparalleled insights into conditions such as:

Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, can manifest various abnormalities that are typically detectable through MRI scans. Here are  abnormalities often identified by MRI in cases of frozen shoulder:

Capsular Thickening and Contracture: MRI scans commonly reveal significant thickening and tightening of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint. This thickening restricts movement, leading to stiffness and reduced range of motion in the shoulder. The contracted capsule contributes to the characteristic “frozen” feeling, making everyday movements challenging and painful.

Inflammation and Oedema:  Inflammatory changes and oedema within the shoulder joint are frequently detected on MRI scans of individuals with frozen shoulder. These findings indicate increased fluid accumulation and swelling within the joint space, contributing to pain, discomfort, and further limiting mobility.

Adhesions and Fibrosis:  MRI imaging often identifies adhesions and fibrotic changes within the joint capsule. Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue that form between the joint surfaces, restricting movement and causing discomfort. Fibrosis refers to the development of excess fibrous tissue, further contributing to the stiffness and limited range of motion experienced in frozen shoulder.

These abnormalities highlighted through MRI scans provide crucial insights for accurate diagnosis and formulation of targeted treatment plans, including physiotherapy, exercises, and, in severe cases, interventions like hydrodilatation procedures or ultrasound-guided injections.

Rotator Cuff Abnormalities:


When it comes to rotator cuff abnormalities identified through MRI scans, commonly observed issues are:

Rotator Cuff Tears: MRI scans are incredibly effective at detecting tears in the rotator cuff. These tears can range from partial thickness to full-thickness tears, involving one or more of the rotator cuff tendons (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis). The extent and location of the tear can be accurately assessed through an MRI, aiding in determining the appropriate treatment plan.

Tendinosis or Tendinopathy: MRI scans can reveal signs of degeneration or chronic damage to the rotator cuff tendons, which is often referred to as tendinosis or tendinopathy. This condition may present as thickening, irregularities, or changes in signal intensity within the tendons due to overuse, aging, or repetitive stress. It can contribute to shoulder pain and compromise the function of the rotator cuff.

Impingement Syndrome: MRI scans can identify signs of impingement, where the rotator cuff tendons become pinched or compressed between the bones of the shoulder. This can lead to inflammation, swelling, and pain. MRI imaging can help visualise bony abnormalities or soft tissue changes contributing to this impingement, aiding in determining the most suitable treatment approach.

These abnormalities, when identified through MRI, serve as crucial information for orthopedic specialists and healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans, whether they involve conservative management, physical therapy, or surgical intervention, depending on the severity and nature of the rotator cuff issue.

Tailored Solutions for Shoulder Concerns

Our range of services extends beyond MRI shoulder, MRI arthrograms and shoulder ultrasound scans. We also offer:

Image Guided Injections:


Image-guided shoulder injections performed by a specialist radiologist offer a spectrum of clinical benefits that significantly enhance both the accuracy of the procedure and the subsequent therapeutic outcomes.

Utilising imaging techniques such as ultrasound to guide the needles, these injections are administered with unparalleled precision. This accuracy ensures the targeted delivery of medication, such as corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid, directly to the affected area within the shoulder joint. By precisely accessing the site of pathology, be it a specific tendon, bursa, or joint space, the likelihood of successful treatment and relief amplifies considerably.

Shoulder Hydrodistension:


Image-guided shoulder hydrodistension, performed by a specialist radiologist, is a minimally invasive procedure designed to alleviate pain and improve mobility in individuals suffering from various shoulder conditions. This innovative technique involves the injection of a sterile fluid, often a combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid, into the shoulder joint under imaging guidance, typically ultrasound.

The clinical benefits of image-guided shoulder hydrodistension are manifold. Firstly, it serves as a powerful diagnostic tool, allowing the radiologist to precisely visualise the affected area and identify underlying issues such as adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), impingement syndrome, or other conditions causing shoulder stiffness and discomfort.

Moreover, the injection of fluid into the shoulder joint during hydrodistension helps to stretch and expand the joint capsule and surrounding tissues. This process helps break up adhesions, reduces inflammation, and increases the capacity of the joint space. By doing so, it can significantly alleviate pain, enhance range of motion, and improve the effectiveness of subsequent physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises.

Patients often experience immediate relief following the procedure due to the numbing effect of the local anesthetic. The corticosteroid component works to reduce inflammation and provide longer-term relief, allowing individuals to engage more comfortably and effectively in rehabilitative exercises, ultimately aiding in the restoration of shoulder function.

Image-guided shoulder hydrodistension is a safe and well-tolerated outpatient procedure with minimal risks and complications. It offers a non-surgical option for managing shoulder pain and stiffness, providing patients with a viable alternative to more invasive interventions. This procedure, performed by a specialist radiologist with expertise in image-guided techniques, can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals grappling with debilitating shoulder conditions, enabling them to regain mobility and enjoy an improved level of comfort in their daily activities.

Expert Consultation and Innovative Treatments

Personalized Approach to Care

Our Consultant Radiologists, experts in shoulder scan interpretation and diagnosis, ensure a comprehensive understanding of your condition. They collaborate closely with shoulder specialist doctors, offering tailored advice for optimal care.

Innovative Procedures

At our clinic, we offer cutting-edge treatments like hydrodilatation injection and ultrasound injection procedures. These innovative methods, are aimed at alleviating pain and restoring shoulder mobility.

Accessible Specialist Care for Your Shoulder

Convenient Access

We’re conveniently located and accessible. minutes from Milton Keynes station and close to major roads links to ensure prompt care whenever you need it. We have free parking available.

Begin Your Journey to Shoulder Wellness Today

Don’t let shoulder discomfort hinder your life. Embrace precise diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and expert guidance at our Radiology Clinic. Discover the relief and freedom you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive Shoulder MRI and consultation with our renowned Consultant Radiologists. Experience the difference in precision and care for your shoulder health.

What does an MRI involve?

Before arriving at the centre


You will receive an email confirmation of your booking.  If you have any questions about the scan, you can phone our friendly team in advance.  If we need to speak to you about the type of scan you have booked, we will get in touch

Before the scan


There is free parking at the centre, or we are a very short walk from the train station.  Our team will greet you at reception, and offer you a drink while you wait.

You will then be called into your own private dressing room where our staff will explain the procedure and go through some safety questions.  If you need to change, a gown will be provided.

If you need intravenous contrast for the scan, a cannula will be put in the vein.

During the scan


The scan takes approximately 20 minutes. It may take longer.  Different types of short scans will be performed showing the brain in different ways. 

There will be some loud noises during the scan including banging noises, which is normal.  We will provide ear plugs or earphones with music.

Our scanner has a slightly larger bore which can reduce claustrophobia.  For some scans, we can show a video within the scanner with images designed to encourage relaxation.

Try to keep still.  This will mean that the images that the radiologist looks at will be at their best.  It will also mean that the scan time will be kept short as we will not have to repeat the scans.

After the scan


You will be taken back to your dressing room and any instructions for care after the scan will be given.  If you had contrast, you will be asked to wait a short while before your cannula is removed.

The scan will be looked at by a specialist radiologist within three days of your scan.  They will write a report which will describe the findings on the scan and they will give a conclusion which will summarise the findings and offer any suggestions for your next steps.

If you would like, you can book a virtual consultation with the radiologist who can explain the report to you and show you the pictures.

How Much Does an MRI cost?

A single region MRI scan costs £350.

Most diagnoses can be made without contrast. If the radiologist feels that you might benefit from contrast when they look at the scan, we can call you back. There is no additional cost for contrast.

Same Day MRI Available

Still Undecided If A Scan Is Right For You?

Contact our team at Vitalscan who can offer you advice

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