Musculoskeletal (MSK) diagnostic ultrasound is an injury assessment modality that uses sound waves to create images of painful or injured areas in the body. This technique provides high resolution images. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is known to be effective in improving the care of patients with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. Although MRI dominated as an imaging procedure for many years in North America, musculoskeletal ultrasound is now emerging as an affordable alternative to MRI.
It is safe: Ultrasound imaging is safe, noninvasive and without risk factors. It can also be used in patients when MRI is contraindicated. There is no radiation involved and can therefore be used repeatedly if clinically necessary.
It is accurate: There are certain anatomic regions like the shoulder where this technique has proven to be equal or superior to MRI. As opposed to MRI, MSK ultrasound does not only provide static visualization but it adds a dynamic component. Ligaments, tendons and muscles can be tested under the application of stress. This allows testing the integrity of soft tissue structures and helps to evaluate pain with motion.
It is affordable: The cost of MSK ultrasound is lower than the insurance deductible for an MRI.
It is efficient: The ultrasound is easily portable and allows the examiner to immediately screen for injuries at any location. This explains the high utilization of this technique in professional athletics.
No patient preparation is needed for this procedure. Please refer to the Information Sheet for Musculoskeletal Ultrasound for a detailed list of indicators that your patient might need a MSK-ultrasound. If you would like to request imaging services, please complete the imaging request form and fax it to the Campus Health Center (503-251-5794) or send it with the referred patient. Appointments can be made by calling the Campus Health Center at 503-255-6771.