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MSK Ultrasound Scanning

MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound

What is MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound?

Musculoskeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound, often referred to as MSK ultrasound, is a medical imaging technique that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and soft tissues within the body. Unlike traditional X-rays or MRI scans, MSK ultrasound does not involve ionizing radiation, making it safer for patients and suitable for repeated examinations.

How Does MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound Work?

During an MSK ultrasound procedure, a specially trained healthcare professional, applies a gel to the skin over the area of interest. They then use a handheld device called a transducer to emit sound waves into the body. These waves bounce off internal structures and return to the transducer, where they are converted into real-time images displayed on a monitor. This process allows for dynamic assessment, enabling healthcare providers to visualize movement, such as joint articulation and muscle contraction, in addition to static images.

Benefits of MSK Diagnostic Ultrasound:

  • Accuracy: MSK ultrasound provides high-resolution images, allowing for detailed evaluation of soft tissue structures, such as tendons and ligaments. This level of precision aids in the accurate diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions, including injuries, inflammation, and degenerative changes.

  • Non-Invasiveness: Unlike invasive procedures like arthroscopy or surgical exploration, MSK ultrasound is non-invasive, meaning it does not require incisions or the insertion of needles or probes into the body. This reduces the risk of complications and minimizes discomfort for patients.

  • Real-Time Imaging: MSK ultrasound offers real-time imaging capabilities, enabling healthcare providers to assess dynamic movements and changes within the musculoskeletal system. This is particularly advantageous for evaluating conditions that are influenced by movement, such as tendon injuries or joint instability.

  • Portability: MSK ultrasound machines are typically compact and portable, allowing for convenient on-site or point-of-care imaging. This portability facilitates immediate assessment in various clinical settings, including sports fields, outpatient clinics, and emergency departments.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to other imaging modalities, such as MRI or CT scans, MSK ultrasound is generally more cost-effective. This makes it a valuable tool for healthcare systems aiming to optimize resource utilization without compromising diagnostic accuracy.

What conditions can diagnostic ultrasound help identify?

  • Shoulder: Rotator cuff tendinopathy / Shoulder impingement

  • Foot and ankle: Achilles tendonitis, ligament injury, bursitis, plantar fasciitis

  • Knee: Jumpers knee / patellar tendinopathy, quadriceps tendinopathy, osteoarthritis, bursitis, joint effusions, Baker’s/popliteal cyst, hamstring injuries

  • Elbow: Tennis and golfer’s elbow, biceps injuries.

  • Wrist and hand: De Qervain's tendinopathy, ligament injury, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Conditions we don’t scan

Please note we do not scan for:

  • Assessment of ‘lumps and bumps’

  • Abdominal region, including hernias

  • The spine, trunk or pelvis e.g. lumbar spine, thoracic spine and cervical spine/neck area

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