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Clinical evidence and research supports using ultrasound as the first diagnostic test for numerous musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Diagnostic ultrasound offers a number of important advantages compared to x-ray, 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 motion. This ability to capture the movement of musculoskeletal components differentiates it from other imaging modalities and can permit more accurate diagnosis. Other advantages for the patient include portability, which allows for point of care application and interpretation.

Clinical evidence and research supports using ultrasound as the first diagnostic test for numerous musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Diagnostic ultrasound offers a number of important advantages compared to x-ray, 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 motion. This ability to capture the movement of musculoskeletal components differentiates it from other imaging modalities and can permit more accurate diagnosis. Other advantages for the patient include portability, which allows for point of care application and interpretation.

Ultrasound

Test

How to prepare for the test: You should wear comfortable loose fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam or you may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure. Any jewellery in the area to be examined will need to be removed.

How it is performed: Depending on the area to be examined, you may be seated, lying face up or face down on the examination table. The examiner will apply a water based gel to the area to be examined. The gel will help the transducer make a secure contact with the body. The transducer will be moved back and forth over the area of examination until the desired images are captured.

How the test will feel: There is no discomfort or pain when having the ultrasound scan. You may feel the pressure of the transducer when it is pressed against the area being examined. The gel used after completing the examination is wiped off, it is non-allergenic and does not stain or discolour clothing. The examination is usually completed in 15 to 30 minutes.

What is

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses sound waves to develop ultrasound images of what is going on inside the body. The scanner, called a transducer, emits high frequency sound and then records the echoes as the sound waves bounce back to determine the size, shape and any disease or disorders of the soft tissue organs. This information is relayed in real time to produce images on a computer screen.

Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provide pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and soft tissue throughout the body. Your doctor will interpret the ultrasound images which will help to diagnose and treat certain conditions.

Musculoskeletal

Diagnosis

  • Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal areas typically help to diagnose
  • Tendon tears, tendonitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body.
  • Muscle tears, masses or fluid collections
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Inflammation or fluid (effusions) within a bursar and joints
  • Early changes of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Benign or malignant soft tissue tumors
  • Ganglions, cysts
  • Hernias
  • Foreign bodies in the soft tissue ( such as splinters or glass)

Results: Your doctor will discuss results with you at the conclusion of your examination. Occasionally a follow up examination is required if there is suspicious or questionable finding which needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique. It may be necessary to follow up an exam so that any changes in a known abnormality can be monitored over time and also sometimes the best way to see if the treatment is working.

Benefits

Vs Risks

Most ultrasound scanning is non-invasive (no needles or injections) so it is never painful. Ultrasound is widely available, easy to use and less expensive than other imaging methods. Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any ionizing (x-ray) radiation. Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images. Ultrasound provides real-time imaging making it good for dynamic studies. Patients can safely receive ultrasound scanning if they have cardiac paramecia, metallic implants or fragments in the body, unlike MRI where this is not allowed due to strong magnetic field. It is also an excellent alternative to MRI for claustrophobic patients.

Compared to MRI, ultrasound may provide greater internal detail when assessing soft tissue structures such as tendons and nerves. For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.

Limitations:Ultrasound has difficulty penetrating bone and therefore can only see the outer surface of body structures and not what lies within. There are also limitations to the depth that sound waves penetrate, therefore deeper structures (mostly organs) in larger patients may not be easily seen.

Innovative Technologies

With a fully equipped clinic and experienced multidisciplinary practitioners, you can always count on us for up-to-date information and advice.

The Clinic

Find the treatment you need

Once we have determined the source of the issue using MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound, you can start treatment that same day if appropriate.

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MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound

Clinical evidence and research supports using ultrasound as the first diagnostic test for numerous musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Diagnostic ultrasound offers a number of important advantages compared to x-ray, computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in terms of safety and effectiveness.

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