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When thnking of diagnostic imaging, our minds often conjure images of X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans. However, there is a growing trend in utilizing musculoskeletal ultrasound, especially in rehabilitation settings and physicians' offices, for determining the origins of musculoskeletal pain.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound bears similarities to the sonograms employed in pregnancy. Both methods utilize specific sound wave frequencies to generate images of underlying structures. These images enable physical therapists to scrutinize joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in the affected area, aiding in the identification of the source of pain. Whether viewed at rest or during movement, ultrasound provides valuable insights for analysis. Physical therapists can employ ultrasound to detect various conditions, including sprains, strains, nerve entrapments, tendonitis, bursitis, and more.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Benefits of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging?

  • The ability to capture real-time feedback enables physical therapists to observe tissue movement, a capability absent in X-rays, MRI, and CT scans.
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound presents a notably cost-effective alternative to other imaging modalities.
  • In many instances, it can offer enhanced detailing of soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia compared to alternative imaging techniques.
  • Ultrasound, devoid of radiation and lacking known harmful effects, can be easily repeated during follow-ups to monitor changes.
  • For patients unable to undergo MRI scans due to factors like pacemakers or metallic implants, physical therapists can utilize ultrasound.
  • Unlike MRI, patients undergoing ultrasound are not required to remain still or be enclosed, providing a more comfortable experience for individuals dealing with claustrophobia or nervousness related to imaging procedures.

The imaging itself is very quick, painless, and can give immediate results and feedback to your physical therapist.

What conditions are well visualized with MSK Ultrasound?

Hand Pain

  • Trigger finger
  • Extensor tendonopathy
  • Tendonitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Pulley/sagittal band/central slip injury or ruptures

Wrist Pain

  • Median Nerve entrapment at wrist (Carpal Tunnel syndrome)
  • Ulnar Nerve entrapment at wrist (Guyon’s Canal syndrome)
  • Ganglion cyst
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

Elbow Pain

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Medial Epicondylitis
  • Tricep tendon injury
  • Olecranon bursitis
  • Median Nerve entrapment at elbow (Pronator syndrome)
  • Ulnar Nerve subluxation

Shoulder Pain

  • Calcific tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Partial or full thickness rotator cuff tears
  • Bicep tendon tear or dislocation
  • Impingement Syndrome

Ankle Pain

  • Achilles tendinopathy or tears
  • Calcific tendonitis
  • Effusion or swelling
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Ankle ligament sprains
  • Tibial Nerve entrapment (Tarsal Tunnel syndrome)

Knee Pain

  • Patellar tendinopathy or tears
  • Quadriceps tendinopathy or tears
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain/strain
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) sprain/strain
  • Pes anserine bursitis
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Effusion or swelling

Hip Pain

  • Effusion or swelling
  • Labral cysts
  • Muscle or soft tissue injuries
  • Sciatic Nerve and piriformis

If you have been considering PT for pain relief, don’t hesitate any longer. With musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging, our Fort Worth physical therapy team can help look into the root cause of your pain so you can get started on the right treatment plan toward recovery and relief.

Our physical therapists are not only movement experts, but are also trained in how to look inside the body using diagnostic imaging to find out more details and information regarding your pain.

If you’re ready to get to the bottom of your pain and discomfort, now is the time!

Contact Ried Physical Therapy today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists and discover how musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging can help you get back to doing what you love.

A Doctor of Physical Therapy will perform a thorough history and examination of your injuries in order to see if Ried Physical Therapy would benefit you.
Perhaps you have some questions and you think it would be better to speak to someone at Ried Physical Therapy first so you can be 100% sure that we can help you.