Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive, non-radiating imaging modality that can be used to diagnose and identify different musculoskeletal disorders. Some of these disorders include muscle, tendon and joint abnormalities. Performing and interpreting musculoskeletal ultrasound takes months of training and practice. Therefore not many physicians utilize musculoskeletal ultrasound as a medical tool. Dr. Patel has been trained extensively during his rheumatology fellowship in performing and interpreting musculoskeletal ultrasound study and has attended various continuing education courses and workshops in musculoskeletal ultrasound to improve on his knowledge and skills.
Ultrasound has many significant advantages over x-rays, MRI and CT scans. These include:
- Ability to guide injections.
- Ability to perform a dynamic or “live” study so that we can see the injured area move.
- Ability to see inflammation.
- Better resolution of soft tissue than MRI.
- Convenient in-office service with no need to go to another facility.
- More cost-effective.
- No claustrophobia.
- No exposure to ionizing radiation.
One of the greatest advantages of musculoskeletal ultrasound is its ability to help the physician guide the needle when performing injections. In recent years, medical specialists have learned that using ultrasound needle guidance is superior to the use of a blind technique. Whether for a joint aspiration or a joint injection, using ultrasound guidance can decrease the incidence of procedural complications and improve the success rate, according to the medical literature.