Hamstring Injuries: Ultrasound (US) vs Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
Hamstrings are a group of muscles located on the back of the thigh. These muscles are mostly used during explosive sprinting or jumping movement. Damage to the hamstring muscles can cause various levels of pain, depending on injury mechanism and tissue pathology. That being said, in case of injury, the most crucial step in treatment planning is to correctly diagnose the type and grade of hamstring injury. A recently published study in Australia compares two often-used imaging methods: ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). US is known for its portability, accessibility and low cost, and it is the first-line diagnostic tool in acute settings. US also allows the doctor to move the patients extremity around to reproduce pain and assess movement patterns. Severe tissue pathologies, such as hamstring hematoma (bleeding within the muscle), could be detected through US. However, US operation often requires experienced US technicians, and the images are not so clear to read. On the other hand, MRI can generate very high-resolution images, which can potentially help detect micro-tears and micro-hematomas. In conclusion, the authors suggested that both US and MRI would be effective in assessing injuries by providing guidance for clinicians. At the Orthohealing Center our physicians are experts in interpreting both MRI & ultrasound imaging to evaluate hamstring injuries in recreational & professional athletes to recommend the best care available.
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