Ultrasound technology has advanced in extraordinary ways over the past several years.
As such, our experts at the Orthohealing Center routinely use musculoskeletal ultrasound to diagnose and manage a number of ailments and conditions for our patients in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, often eliminating the need for an MRI or CT scan. Our doctors were among the first in the medical community to integrate ultrasound and develop protocols and techniques with regenerative medicine. We have published literature and educated thousands of physicians around the world on the latest techniques. Frequently ultrasound is utilized to help ensure precise needle guidance for biologic injections to ensure a comfortable patient experience with the greatest opportunity for success.
Benefits of musculoskeletal ultrasound
Using musculoskeletal ultrasounds to diagnose and manage your condition comes with a variety of appealing benefits, including:
- The ability to evaluate bony structures and soft tissues, including your tendons, muscles and ligaments.
- It’s a very comfortable patient experience that eliminates the claustrophobia and radiation exposure associated with other imaging tests.
- Live testing allows our Los Angeles physiatrists to dynamically move your body parts throughout the exam, providing a more dynamic view of the underlying structures and reproduce the pain.
- It serves as a guide during many of our non-surgical treatments – such as PRP therapy, bone marrow stem cell therapy and more – by ensuring the accuracy of our needle placement.
- It tends to be more affordable to patients when compared with a CT scan or MRI.
The two functions of musculoskeletal ultrasound technology
Musculoskeletal ultrasound technology has two primary functions in non-surgical orthopedics. The first is as a diagnostic tool. In the past, we relied on x-rays, MRIs and CT scans to diagnose musculoskeletal conditions. However, these tests came with their fair share of disadvantages and limitations. For example, x-rays can only provide a limited view of your tissues and MRIs are costly.
With advanced musculoskeletal ultrasound, we have a cost effective, convenient and detailed way to assess the health of your tissues and “find the pain.” This imaging test allows us to diagnose a wide range of conditions, including tendon and muscle tears, ligament sprains, inflammation within the bursae and joints, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve entrapments and more.
The second function is the ability to guide injections. Musculoskeletal ultrasounds allow us to better perform minimally-invasive treatments that require very accurate needle placements, such as PRP therapy, bone marrow stem cell therapy, hyaluronic acid injections, cortisone injections and more. The detailed image allows us to see your anatomy and locate the exact area of the injury or pain. In this way, we are able to ensure that our treatment reaches the right location – maximizing its benefits and preventing damage to the surrounding structures.
What to expect during your musculoskeletal ultrasound
The musculoskeletal ultrasound is a safe, gentle and completely comfortable diagnostic test. To prepare, we recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing to your appointment so we can easily access the treatment area.
To begin, we will place a probe covered with gel on your skin in close proximity to the site of the pain or injury. This probe is connected to a console containing a computer and a video display. From there, the machine will use reflected sound waves to create a live, dynamic image of the area. We will then adjust the settings on the machine to increase the clarity, until we can clearly visualize your anatomy and the underlying tissues enough to make a diagnosis or perform your injections.