Conventional radiography has been considered the primary tool for the investigation of bone and joint disorders. However, the muscles, joints, connective tissues and vascular structures of the upper and lower extremities are particularly well suited for ultrasound examination due to their superficial nature. Therefore, in the past decade, ultrasound has taken on an important role, often as a primary tool for the investigation of many joint injuries and pathologies. As an added bonus, ultrasound is very cost effective when compared to other imaging studies like MRI or CT Scanning.
For these reasons, the applications of musculoskeletal ultrasound have expanded considerably in the past few years.
Here is a list of several current indications for musculoskeletal ultrasound:
* assessment of ligament and/of tendon tears
* investigation of articular disorders involving cartilage
* identification of joint effusions
* evaluation of soft tissue masses
* investigation of foreign bodies
* investigation of vascular disease
Patients are primarily sent for high resolution, ultrasound imaging studies for the following reasons:
* sports injuries
* palpable or suspected periarticular or intra-articular masses
* rheumatologic disorders
* to assess complications of surgical procedures
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