Musculoskeletal ultrasound offers an excellent complimentary imaging technique to traditional methods such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) studies. The reasons are simple; ultrasound is the most cost effective imaging procedure available other than plain x-ray. In addition, musculoskeletal ultrasound utilizes dynamic imaging techniques — allowing the sonographer to evaluate function through range of motion planes. Most importantly, ultrasound is non-painful, non-invasive, and allows the patient to watch while his/her anatomic structures are being imaged on a video monitor. Unlike other imaging modalities, claustrophobia is not a concern for patients who undergo a sonogram. Likewise, there are no contraindications (like allergic reactions or fasting restrictions) associated with a sonographic analysis.
How is Ultrasound utilized in treatment?
Ultrasound is used for precision of intrajoint injections or for precise localization of structure being treated by Extracorporeal Shock Wave.
What Can I Expect During This Test?
A side-to-side comparison analysis is performed and imaging is accomplished by placing a transducer over the area to be visualized. Pulses are generated by the transducer and sent into the patient. Echoes are produced at organ boundaries and within tissues, and are returned to the transducer where they get detected and imaged on a screen.
Like an electrodiagnostic study, the doctor utilizes songraphic analysis as an extension of the clinical exam. Therefore, each sonographic consultation consists of a complete history and physical exam, medical record review, and the sonographic evaluation. Although ultrasound is considered to be a technically difficult study, the doctors knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanics makes this an excellent imaging resource for patients.
How Long Does This Test Take and What Should I Wear?
The entire evaluation takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and patients are encouraged to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. We recommend shorts for lower extremity studies, and tank tops for upper extremity studies.
Some Examples Of Common Upper Extremity Pathology Appropriate For Sonographic Analysis Include:
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Cumulative Trauma Disorder
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- TFCC Tear
- Ganglion Cyst