Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging or MSK scan is changing the treatment and recovery of sports injuries and other muscular, tendon and ligament problems. At Remedy Physio, we can use Ultrasound imaging to help you in getting an accurate diagnosis and to evaluate which treatments are suitable for you, as well as monitoring your recovery over time.
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, trapped nerves, arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:
- Tendon tears or tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and many other tendons throughout the body.
- Muscle tears, masses or fluid collections.
- Ligament sprains or tears.
- Inflammation or fluid (effusions) within the bursae and joints.
- Early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
What are the benefits vs. risks?
- Most ultrasound scanning is non-invasive (no needles or injections).
- Occasionally, an ultrasound exam may be temporarily uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.
- Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than most other imaging methods.
- Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use radiation.
- Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images.
- Ultrasound provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures as injections.
- Patients with cardiac pacemakers and certain types of metallic implants or fragments in the body cannot be safely exposed to the strong magnetic field required for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); however, patients can safely receive ultrasound imaging.
- Ultrasound is also an excellent alternative to MRI for claustrophobic patients.
- Compared to MRI, ultrasound may provide greater internal detail when assessing soft tissue structures such as tendons and nerves.
- Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the movement of a soft tissue structure such as a tendon, joint or an extremity.