Musculoskeletal ultrasounds can be effectively used in conjunction with MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) to help healthcare providers identify specific injuries associated with the joints and their components. This imaging technique shows the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and various other connective tissues throughout the body. By correctly identifying an injury, a doctor can create a personalized treatment plan that addresses each patient’s individual needs.
What Is Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?
A musculoskeletal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the interior structures of the body. Much like an ultrasound that is used to show parents the face of their unborn child, an MSK ultrasound can show doctors the parts of the body that make up a shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, or other joint anywhere in the body. It produces pictures of both the soft tissues as well as the harder, more durable tissues, such as bone and cartilage.
Can Effectively Help Doctors Diagnose Joint Injuries
An MSK or diagnostic ultrasound can show damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can be especially helpful when diagnosing injuries to the Achilles tendon or locating a rotator cuff tear. By being able to look inside the soft tissues and through the connective tissue, your healthcare provider can identify even the smallest tears or breaks.
Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds Are Painless and Non-invasive
MSK ultrasounds are one of many imaging modalities that are non-invasive and virtually painless. There are no incisions to be made and no injections are needed to numb or prepare the area for the procedure.
An MSK Ultrasound Can Detect Fluid Buildup And Blood Within the Joint
Because an MSK ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce the pictures, these imaging tests can show both blood flow and fluid buildup in and around the affected joint.
An MSK Ultrasound Provides A Better Image Than An X-ray
An MSK ultrasound produces a much better image with greater detail than a simple X-ray. The additional information this type of imaging test offers allows for a higher degree of accuracy when making a diagnosis.
Can Identify Nerve, Tendon, and Ligament Damage
While an X-ray mainly shows damage to the bones and connective tissues, an MSK ultrasound shows damage sustained by the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even the fascia. It can also show varying degrees of nerve damage that may not otherwise be detected. When combined with an MRI, an MSK ultrasound shows a complete and accurate view of the injury.
Musculoskeletal ultrasounds are effective tools in terms of giving doctors the tools they need to accurately diagnose joint injuries. They provide valuable information that may not have been uncovered without a laparoscopic procedure. Using this type of imaging and diagnostic tool gives doctors an advantage and allows them to offer their patients the best treatment options possible.