What is Ultrasound Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System?
Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provide pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and soft tissue throughout the body.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:
- tendon tears, such as tears of the rotator cuff in the shoulder or Achilles tendon in the ankle.
- abnormalities of the muscles, such as tears and soft-tissue masses.
- bleeding or other fluid collections within the muscles, bursae and joints.
- small benign and malignant soft tissue tumors.
- early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
How should I prepare?
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.
You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
No other preparation is required.
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