What is Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging?
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears and other soft tissue conditions. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive and does not use ionizing radiation.
What are the common uses of musculoskeletal ultrasound?
Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:
What are the benefits of Ultrasound:
There are no known harmful effects on humans for standard diagnostic ultrasound.
What are the limitations of ultrasound imaging of the musculoskeletal system?
Ultrasound has difficulty penetrating bone and, therefore, can only see the outer surface of bony structures and not what lies within. (For visualising internal structure of bones or certain joints, other imaging modalities such as MRI are typically used.
There are also limitations to the depth that sound waves can penetrate; therefore, deeper structures in larger patients may not be seen easily.
Ultrasound has not proven useful in detecting whiplash injuries or most other causes of back pain.