What is a musculoskeletal ultrasound?
A musculoskeletal ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool which uses state-of-the-art transducers to help carry on an accurate analysis of muscles, tendons ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues in the body's musculoskeletal system. It is a non-invasive and safe diagnostic tool that helps healthcare professionals assess and diagnose a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.
What does it involve?
A musculoskeletal ultrasound (also known as musculotendinous ultrasound) is a diagnostic imaging tool which uses ultrasound to get a quick diagnosis. The procedure does not use X-rays. This technique allows for an optimal evaluation for muscular structures while distinguishing the anatomical components of the joints and tendons.
What is it for?
Common musculoskeletal conditions and situations where ultrasound is used include:
- Ligament injuries
- Muscle tears
- Soft tissue masses
- Guided injections
What happens during the procedure?
In order to prepare for the ultrasound, you may be asked to wear loose-fitting clothing or a gown that allows easy access to the area being examined. You will then be positioned in a way that allows the radiologist to access the area of concern easily.
Once in the correct position, a clear, water-based gel is applied to the skin over the area of interest. This gel helps to transmit the sound waves from the ultrasound transducer and ensures good contact between the transducer and your skin.
An ultrasound transducer, a handheld device that emits and receives sound waves, is placed on the skin over the area being examined. The transducer is moved around to obtain different views and images of the area. As the radiologist moves the transducer over your body, a real-time image of the muscles and tendons is displayed on the monitor screen, allowing the radiologist to formulate a diagnosis based on the ultrasound image.
The radiologist will analyse the images in real-time to assess the condition of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues. They will look for abnormalities such as tears, inflammation, fluid accumulation, or structural issues.
What does it feel like during the procedure?
A musculoskeletal ultrasound is a painless procedure unless it is carried out over a highly inflamed area, in which case, you may feel a small amount pain.
Why is a musculoskeletal ultrasound beneficial?
A musculoskeletal ultrasound is valuable for several reasons. It provides real-time images, allowing the healthcare provider to observe movement and function of the musculoskeletal structures, which can be especially useful for evaluating joint mobility and function.
Additionally, it is non-invasive and does not involve radiation, making it a safer option compared to some other imaging modalities like X-rays or CT scans. It can be used for dynamic assessments, such as evaluating the function of tendons and ligaments during movement or assessing joint stability.05-01-2016 09-06-2023