Clinical evidence and research supports using ultrasound as an accurate diagnostic test for numerous musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Diagnostic ultrasound can offer a number of important advantages compared to computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Diagnostic ultrasound is non-invasive and offers real-time imaging, allowing for examinations of structures at rest and in motion. This ability to capture the movement of musculoskeletal components differentiates it from other imaging modalities and can permit more accurate diagnoses. Other advantages include its portability, which allows for point-of-care application and interpretation. Additionally, the ultrasound examination can be used as a screening tool at a much lower cost. And, if there are areas that may need fluid or tissue sampling, this may be performed with the use of ultrasound guidance. All of this without the radiation concerns associated with CT and perfect for those not suitable for MRI due to pacemakers and other certain implantable devices.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is good for the evaluation and diagnosis of abnormalities of:
- Rotator cuff, biceps tendon
- Finger/hand tendons and ligaments in injury or associated with arthritis
- Elbow tendons and ligaments
- Carpal tunnel
- Foot and ankle tendons and ligaments
- Achilles tendon
- Plantar fascia
- Patellar and Quadriceps tendons
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Newborn hips
Musculoskeletal ultrasounds are performed by ultrasonographers with advanced training and interpreted byradiologists who are fellowship-trained in musculoskeletal imaging.