Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a dynamic, non-invasive image that allows high resolution evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders. It is a reliable modality for diagnosing musculoskeletal disorders related to traumatic injury, degeneration and for patients who can’t undergo MRI. This non-invasive and dynamic imaging is beneficial when range of motion is lost due to acute or chronic injury to major tendons, as well as in pain management and urgent care. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a unique modality which will enhance our overall patient care.
The following is a brief list of the more common locations/conditions for which ultrasound can be used as a diagnostic modality and an adjunctive modality to MRI or CT scanning for diagnosis and clinical follow-up:
Spine: Ultrasound can identify signs of inflammation in the facets, nerve roots, tendons, ligaments as well as muscles. Studies show that ultrasound of the nerves, tendons and muscle groups produce consistent echogenic (the ability of tissue to reflect ultrasound waves to produce an image) patterns. Spinal/musculoskeletal ultrasound can provide a low-cost alternative to MRI for orthopedic-related imaging
Knee: Ultrasound is extremely good at characterizing tendonitis and diagnosing various lumps and bumps, such as synovial or meniscal cysts. MRI is clearly superior in the assessment of meniscal tears, cruciate lesions and osteochondral lesions.
Foot: Ultrasound is most often used to assess tendonitis. However, two recent developments that have relevance to sports concern Morton’s neuroma and posterior ankle impingement.
One of the more common disorders that may be evaluated with ultrasound is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The etiology of CTS is primarily the encroachment on the median nerve, due to either a decrease in size of the tunnel (mainly osseous causes), or an increase in the volume within the confined space of the tunnel.
Therapeutic Ultrasound is one of the most commonly prescribed electrophysical therapy modalities for rehabilitation and the management of pain and loss of use due to injury or arthritic conditions.
Its effectiveness has been enhanced over the years by studies which have helped determine optimum techniques and patterns of application. Subsequently, a wide range of injuries have shown to be responsive to this non-invasive therapy.
Therapeutic Ultrasound aids in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, back and joint conditions, limited range of motion, soft tissue injuries and chronic conditions by heating tissues as deep as 1 to 5 centimeters beneath the skin. The treatment works by increasing blood flow, relaxing muscle spasms, repairing damaged tissue and dramatically speeding the healing process.