Musculoskeletal ultrasound is an imaging technique used to inspect muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and joints. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of internal structures. That means doctors can see the inner workings of joints as they move or watch blood flow through arteries and veins. Ultrasound exam is a painless, safe way of looking deep into the musculoskeletal system
Injuries and Conditions Diagnosed
Musculoskeletal ultrasounds can be used to diagnose many types of injuries and chronic conditions, including:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues
- Tendonitis and bursitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Joint inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
- Stress fractures and bone alignment
- Bone tumors and masses in soft tissues
How It Works
A sonographer passes a transducer over a part of the patient’s body. The transducer sends soundwaves into the body and records the echoes that bounce back. Computer software turns those sound images into video or still pictures projected onto a monitor.
It works on the same principle as the sonar on a submarine. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, ultrasound does not expose patients to ionizing radiation.
What to Expect
The patient may be asked to wear a gown, and will sit or lie on a table for the procedure. A technician will apply a gel to the area to be scanned, which helps the transducer make good contact with the body. The patient might be required to move a joint or limb during the ultrasound to help with the diagnosis. The process usually takes about 15-30 minutes and is painless.
- Safe, quick, and non-invasive. Ultrasound exams don’t require needles, injections, radiation, anesthesia, or sedation.
- Clear, accurate pictures and videos. It gives better views of soft tissue than X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. It can provide still pictures and video from different angles. Video capabilities mean it can be used to direct needle biopsies, fluid aspiration, and similar procedures.
- Cost-effective. Ultrasound exams cost less than CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays.
- No need to prepare. No fasting or taking special preparations prior to exams.
- Unlike with MRIs, there is no risk for claustrophobic patients or patients with metallic implants
Convenient and versatile
The rheumatologists at Florida Medical Clinic are experts at using musculoskeletal ultrasound in the diagnosis and treatment of problems that affect your ligaments, bones, joints and muscles.
To schedule an appointment with our rheumatology team, contact us today
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