Why learn ultrasonography?
As clinicians we truly see the great value of ultrasonography. Its easy access, fast exam, high resolution, real time dynamic assessment makes it the ideal imaging modality for our every day work.
Having experienced a time where ultrasound was not an option for the work up of any musculoskeletal disorder its impossible to neglect its remarkable change in our ability to further investigate a suspected pathology in a matter of minutes.
Even so ultrasonography is still an underestimated and underused imaging modality in musculoskeletal medicine i our opinion. Critics are usually mis- or ill-informed regarding ultrasounds pros and cons.
Image & resolution
Ultrasound provides superior resolution compared to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). A spatial resolution of less than 0.1 mm is common.
Unlike MRI, ultrasound provides a representation of actual tissue rather than tissue metabolism / ion movement.
Dynamic examination of a suspected pathology is often crucial for a correct diagnosis. With ultrasound, muscles, tendons, joints and nerves can be loaded and examined in real time. Today, there is no other common imaging diagnosis that can handle this.
Ultrasound is free of ionizing radiation. This makes the technology particularly suitable for examining children.
Ultrasound is not adversely affected by metallic objects. Patients with prostheses, screws and plates can therefore be examined as usual.
For patients suffering from claustrophobia, ultrasound may often be preferable to MRI when examining soft tissue injuries.
Guidence during interventions
With ultrasound, you have the opportunity to ensure that an injection reaches its target area without damaging other surrounding tissue. Blockages, injections, aspirations, etc. can be made more effective and safe.
Availability & price
Ultrasound is used today in most areas of healthcare. The machines are usually very accessible in a hospital environment. It is in the room near the patient. Many machines today are portable. Even the more exclusive machines are today relatively cheap.