Ultrasound is revolutionizing diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions and the ability to precisely target nerves, joints, tendons, ligaments, and other structures for therapeutic intervention. For example, ultrasound guidance has revolutionized the safety and efficacy of nerve catheter placement and nerve cryotherapy. Regenerative medicine with injection of stem cells and PRP is improving as a result of the highly accurate nature of ultrasound guided diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic diseases amenable to treatment by these modalities.
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose and treat chronic problems like arthritis and tendinosis, as well as acute conditions like sprains, strains, tears and other soft tissue injuries.
Who should have a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?
Anyone who has chronic pain in or around any of the joints of the extremities (hip, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand) can benefit from evaluation by diagnostic ultrasound. Many conditions, including arthritis, tendinosis (often mislabeled as tendinitis), and ligament injuries are amenable to treatment via ultrasound guided injection therapy.
How does this help manage pain?
Anyone suffering from perioperative pain can benefit from ultrasound guided nerve blocks that can get patients through the worst of their pain after surgery. These injections can allow patients to rehabilitate and facilitate their own self-guided recovery. Nerve blocks have been demonstrated to reduce the need for addicting pain medications.
Patients suffering from CRPS who need to rehabilitate can also benefit from these ultrasound guided nerve block procedures for a similar reason. Often movement of any sort with this condition is too painful to contemplate rehabilitation. These motor sparing nerve blocks provide CRPS patients with the tools they need to begin healing their own body with their own strength.