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Musculoskeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound

Medical ultrasound technology uses sound waves to localize structures within the body. Conceptually, it is similar to sonar used by diagnostic-ultrasound animals such as bats and dolphins. The ultrasound probe emits sound waves, which are reflected by various tissues in the body and registered by the device to create a live image on the monitor. With recent technological advances, image rendering can produce fine anatomical detail, enabling physicians to localize structures such as nerves, muscles, and joints with exceptional clarity. The keen visualization obtained by ultrasound imagery allows the physician to specifically target anatomical regions of interest.

The advance and use of musculoskeletal imaging is an exciting injury assessment technique that can present new opportunities to help in the care of patients. Each day many individuals experience musculoskeletal pain causing frustration and stress in daily life. Many individuals have a hard time finding relief from previous injury and are unsure of treatment options.

For patients with certain musculoskeletal injuries, physiatrists, physicians specializing in rehabilitation at Legacy Medical Centers use a technique called musculoskeletal ultrasound to diagnose pathology and deliver therapies. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is known to be effective in improving care of patients with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. We offer this treatment option for patients experiencing pain, along with those who have tried treatment options that have in turn been unsuccessful.

Ultrasound Guided

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What are the advantages to musculoskeletal ultrasound?

Musculoskeletal ultrasound gives many exciting advantages to patients, including:

  • Safe – Ultrasound imaging is safe and non-invasive. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is nearly always comfortable for patients and can be used as many times as necessary. Ultrasound involves no radiation, making the test safer for the patient.
  • Accurate – Musculoskeletal ultrasound improves accuracy of treatments for numerous areas in the body, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves. Musculoskeletal ultrasound also allows detailed visualization of areas of the body, providing both physicians and patients with an optimal view of the injured body part. Patients find it very helpful to see these areas of their body and better understand their pain and the rehabilitation recommendations.
  • Affordable – Cost of musculoskeletal ultrasound is much lower in comparison to an MRI and does not require a separate appointment.
  • Dynamic With Direct feedback – Unlike MRI testing, ultrasound shows the musculoskeletal system in motion, allowing pain with motion to be directly evaluated. In addition, patients are able to obtain direct feedback from the physician during and after the testing.
  • Efficient – The ultrasound is easily portable within the clinic and offers a quick scan time making it efficient to the patient and physician.

What can musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging be used for?

Musculoskeletal ultrasound can be an effective tool for many different types of injuries, such as:

  • Muscle injuries, such as tears or soft-tissue masses
  • Tendon tears, including rotator cuff and Achilles tendon
  • Bleeding or other fluid collections within the muscles, bursae, and joints

Example: (tendonitis/tendinopathy) There are many individuals of all ages who suffer with discomfort caused by tendonitis, overuse or irritation of the attachment of a muscle to a bone. The physicians at Legacy Medical Centers are able to evaluate the patient and locate the source of pain using musculoskeletal ultrasound, as well as diagnose certain areas where popping, snapping, or other sources of pain may occur.

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