What preparation is needed for a musculoskeletal ultrasound?
There is no specific preparation for a musculoskeletal ultrasound but please wear something that makes the region of interest easy to access. Also, if you have had any tests (for example, x-ray or MRI) on the region needing scanning, please bring results and images of those to your ultrasound appointment.
What areas can be scanned in a musculoskeletal ultrasound?
You doctor may refer you for a musculoskeletal ultrasound for your shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers, anterior abdominal wall, hip, groin, buttock, thigh, knee, lower leg, ankle, foot or toes. You may have a lump or unexplained swelling that could benefit from an ultrasound scan.
What do you look at in a musculoskeletal ultrasound?
Ultrasound can look at muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, nerves and superficial soft tissue such as skin and subcutaneous fat. Depending on the region being scanned and the clinical question, the sonographer will cover a range of these tissues to find out why you’re in pain, can’t move properly, or have a lump.
What will happen during the exam?
The sonographer will put gel on the region of interest and scan around it looking at structures from different angles. You may need to move the painful area to reproduce your symptoms. In that way, the sonographer can watch what is happening in there and hopefully see the cause of your pain.
What happens after the exam?
The sonographer will tell you any significant findings from the exam. She will write a report and that will be emailed to you and your referring doctor within 24 hours.
How long does a musculoskeletal ultrasound take?
The scan will take approximately 20 minutes.