ULTRASOUND AS A PART OF THE EXAMINATION
How Ultrasound Can Help?
Ultrasound (US) is commonly known as a diagnostic device used for internal organs. However, it is as valuable in imaging muscles, tendons or joints. Ultrasound sometimes can pick-up smaller injury zones that MRI can not. For fibrillar structures like tendons, US gives better resolution than the MRI when they are at close proximity to skin (such as Achilles, patellar tendon or quadriceps tendon).
US has the unique capability of dynamic assessment during the exam. This involves moving the extremities through the range and seeing the pathology real-time on the screen. This gives the physician to assess whether or not the pathology is affected by movement such as Shoulder Impingement.
Comparison of Both Sides
Sometimes assessing the affected side is not enough to evaluate whether the current condition is acquired or has been there before. Ultrasound provides an easy assessment opportunity of the unaffected extremity for comparison.
Guidance for Injections
Research shows that US guidance during the injection of muscles, tendons or joints significantly improves accuracy. Not only this improves the outcomes clinically, it also provides safety in comparison with anatomical landmark guided (blind) injections.
Re-assessment as Needed
As application of an office-based US is easy, this is often used to assess healing through different stages. This helps the treating physician to evaluate clinical outcomes, or any flare ups due to course of injury/condition.
The `Stethoscope` of Sports Physician
Considering all benefits, US is seen today as the stethoscope of the Sports Physician who is up-to-date and with a wider scope of practice.