Musculoskeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound Scan
Diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the Joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and other soft tissue throughout the body. Thus helps to identify the abnormalities of the musculoskeletal problems.
A Diagnostic Ultrasound Scan is carried out by placing a probe (also called transducer) and gel directly on the scanning part of the body skin. Gel helps to transfer the high-frequency sound waves from the transducer into the body and back to the probe to produce the body images on the screen.
Ultrasound scan is a noninvasive procedure and does not use ionizing radiation, hence it is a safe tool to use on anyone.
What musculoskeletal problems can be diagnosed?
Few examples of common problems :
- Arthritis of the joints. Ex: Wrist & hands, foot & ankle, knee, shoulder, elbow, etc.
- Inflammatory changes in the hands and feet. Ex: Rheumatoid, gout, psoriatic arthritis, etc.
- Shoulder rotator cuff tears, biceps tendon tear, Achilles tendon tear in the ankle, and other tendon tears throughout the body.
- Bursitis: ex: shoulder, knee, and ankle.
- Ligament sprains/tears.
- Muscle tears.
- Ganglion cysts.
- Foreign bodies. Ex: glass or wood splinters.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Baker’s cyst.
How should I prepare for the ultrasound examination?
Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing, as you need to remove clothing and jewellery in the area to be examined.
If you are expecting to have an injection, make sure you have arranged alternative transport. This is due to your motor insurance policy, it will not be valid for at least 3 hours after the injection. Please check with your insurance policy. Either bring your partner, family member or friend with you. Alternatively, you can use either a taxi or public transport to return home.
No other preparation is required.
How is the procedure performed?
Depending on the area to be examined, you will be asked either to be seated or lying face-up or face-down on an examination table. Then the clinician applies some gel on your skin and places the probe over the gel, and the probe is moved around until the desired images are obtained. The clinician may ask you to move the extremity being examined to obtain images of all the structures of the body part.
Usually, the probe pressure does not cause any discomfort to you. However, you may experience some discomfort or tenderness while scanning over the tender areas.
After completing the ultrasound scanning, ultrasound gel will be wiped. Ultrasound gel is a water-based gel and dries quickly without causing stains. After the examination you can carry out all your daily activities as usual.
Ultrasound examination may take 10 – 20 minutes to complete, occasionally may take longer.
When will I know the ultrasound examination findings?
We will discuss the results with you after completing the exam and the signed report will be provided to you at a later time.
Some times a follow-up examination or further investigations may be recommended, to further evaluate the identified abnormality.
A follow-up ultrasound exam may also be recommended to see if there has been any change in the abnormality over time or to understand the effect of the treatment.
Are there any limitations of Ultrasound Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System?
Ultrasound does not penetrate the bone beyond the bony cortex. For this reason inside the joints or bones cannot be visualized. MRI or other imaging modalities are ideal to visualize the internal structure of bones or joints.
Deeper the structure poorer the ultrasound image quality, therefore, deeper structures in larger patients may not be seen easily.
What are the benefits vs. risks?
Noninvasive (not painful).
Sometimes, part of the examination can be uncomfortable, but not painful.
Ultrasound is less expensive than the majority of the other imaging methods.
No radiation and no known harmful side effects.
Ultrasound is a real-time imaging modality, making it a good tool for guiding the injection needle accurately.
Patients with metal implants or cardiac pacemakers can safely receive ultrasound imaging.
Real-time ultrasound imaging can show the movement of the tendon or joint.
No known harm to humans.
If you are experiencing painful joints, muscles, tendons or ligaments please get in touch for a diagnostic scan and or treatment
AREAS COVERED BY JOINT CARE CLINICS
We cover a wide area throughout Warwickshire and surrounds, either by home visit or clinics in the following areas: Rugby, Coventry, Warwick, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Leamington Spa, Stratford, Kenilworth, Whitnash, Atherstone, Bedworth, Leicester and Nuneaton. We also have clinics throughout the West Midlands including Birmingham and Solihull. We have a clinic in Newcastle covering the North East.
If you do not see your area listed please still get in touch as we may be able to refer you to another practitioner in your area.