Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints throughout the body.
It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, trapped nerves, arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is safe, non-invasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is safe and painless. It produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging is also called ultrasound scanning or sonography.
It uses a small probe called a transducer and gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves travel from the probe through the gel into the body. The probe collects the sounds that bounce back. A computer uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound exams do not use radiation (as used in x-rays).
As images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs. They can also show blood flowing through blood vessels.
Musculoskeletal 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, nerves and soft tissues throughout the body.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may need to remove all clothing and jewellery in the area to be examined.
You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations are very sensitive to motion, and an active or crying child can prolong the examination process. To ensure a smooth experience, it often helps to explain the procedure to the child prior to the exam. Bringing books, small toys, music or games can help to distract the child and make the time pass quickly. The ultrasound exam room may have a television. Feel free to ask for your child’s favourite channel.
No other preparation is required.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in the sonar used by bats, ships and fishermen. When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back, or echoes. By measuring these echo waves, it is possible to determine how far away the object is as well as the object’s size, shape and consistency. This includes whether the object is solid or filled with fluid.
In medicine, ultrasound is used to detect changes in the appearance of organs, tissues, and vessels and to detect abnormal masses, such as tumours.
In an ultrasound exam, a transducer both sends the sound waves and records the echoing waves. When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it sends small pulses of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound waves bounce off internal organs, fluids and tissues, the sensitive receiver in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound’s pitch and direction.
These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor. One or more frames of the moving pictures are typically captured as still images. Short video loops of the images may also be saved.