Musculoskeletal ultrasound involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to image soft tissues and bony structures in the body for the purposes of diagnosing pathology or guiding real-time interventional procedures. Recently, an increasing number of physicians have integrated musculoskeletal ultrasound into their practices to facilitate patient care. Technological advancements, improved portability, and reduced costs continue to drive the proliferation of ultrasound in clinical medicine. This increased interest creates a need for education pertaining to all aspects of musculoskeletal ultrasound. The primary purpose of this article is to review diagnostic ultrasound technology and its potential clinical applications in the evaluation and treatment of patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. After reviewing this article, physicians should be able to (1) list the advantages and disadvantages of ultrasound compared to other available imaging modalities; (2) describe how ultrasound machines produce images using sound waves; (3) discuss the steps necessary to acquire and optimize an ultrasound image; (4) understand the difference ultrasound appearances of tendons, nerves, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, and bones; and (5) identify multiple applications for diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound. Part 2 of this 2-part article will focus on the clinical applications of musculoskeletal ultrasound in clinical practice, including the ultrasonographic appearance of normal and abnormal tissues as well as specific diagnostic and interventional applications in major body regions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology