How the Technology Behind a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Works
A musculoskeletal ultrasound is an easy and painless way to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
Ultrasound is one of the safest ways to get an idea of what is going on inside the body using soundwaves. Ultrasound imaging is also called ultrasound scanning or sonography. It involves using a small transducer, also known as a probe, and ultrasound gel, which is placed directly on the skin to get an accurate idea by probing the body with high-frequency sound waves. The probe emits high-frequency sound waves that are transmitted through the gel and into the body. The transducer, part of the musculoskeletal ultrasound machine, then collects all the sounds that bounce back, and a computer uses the sound waves to create an image. By looking at the image, a sports doctor, who is an expert in musculoskeletal imaging, can determine if there are any problems with the musculoskeletal system.
This type of ultrasound is unique
Ultrasound image are captured in real time, which allows them to show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs. Even more amazingly, musculoskeletal ultrasound can capture a real-time image of the blood flowing through the blood vessels.
One of the coolest things about the musculoskeletal ultrasound technology used by sports doctors is that it is completely non-invasive. It is even safe for people who could not have an x-ray, such as pregnant women. Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provides the physician with an accurate, real-time picture of important organs, muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and any soft tissue in any area of the body, without needing to make any kind of incisions or requiring invasive tests.
What is musculoskeletal ultrasound used for?
Ultrasound images are used for diagnosis. Some of the more common uses for ultrasound images and diagnosis include the following.
Foreign bodies in the soft tissue after an accident, which can include things like splinters or glass
Benign or malignant soft tissue tumors, which can help with the diagnosis of cancer
Early changes indicating rheumatoid arthritis
Ligament sprain or tears
Tendon tears, muscle tears, masses of fluid collections, tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle or other damages to tendons or muscles throughout the body
Ultrasound images can be used to diagnose a host of conditions.
How does it work?
Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles that bats, dolphins, and fishermen use to determine where they are going. When the ultrasound sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back or echoes. Using specific calculations to measure these echo waves, it is possible to determine the object size, consistency, and shape. In medicine, ultrasounds are used to detect changes in appearance, the contour of organs, size and scope of tissue, and to detect an abnormal mass, which can lead a physician to make an accurate diagnosis.
Using musculoskeletal ultrasound, a sports doctors can capture an accurate in real-time diagnosis of any number of conditions. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis, and so if you or a loved one have suffered an injury or are in pain, give us a call today.
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