Diagnostic ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool which uses sound waves to assess and grade a range of muscle, ligament, nerve, tendon and bony injuries using a handheld probe on the surface of the skin. Gel is applied to the surface of the skin as a contact medium. The soundwaves are bounced back from the body’s tissues into the probe and are used to generate a picture on the viewing screen. This image reveals any changes within the tissues in the body.
Ultrasound is a safe non-invasive form of imaging which does not emit any radiation. The patient can move the body part and locate the area of pain as the scan is carried out.
Ultrasound can be used to diagnose:
• Muscle tears
• Tendon injuries Ligament sprains/tears
• Nerve entrapment or injuries
• Fluid or inflammation within a joint Stress fractures Foreign bodies
Ultrasound may help to identify these conditions:
✓ Shoulder – rotator cuff tendinopathy and bursitis
✓ Foot and ankle – ligament injury, tendinopathy, bursitis, Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis
✓ Knee – patella tendinopathy, quadriceps tendinopathy, osteoarthritis, bursitis, joint effusions, Baker’s/popliteal cyst, hamstring injuries
✓ Elbow – tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, biceps injuries Wrist and hand – carpal tunnel, tendinopathy