Ultrasound Imaging to Diagnose Sports Injuries and Joint Pain

Oct 14, 2020 | Injuries, Muscle & Joint

If you incur injury during exercise, you might expect to be sent for an X-ray or MRI. However, it is becoming more common in these incidents, that ultrasound scans are used to diagnose, as they have less exposure to radiation, and often work out less expensive to carry out. They can also help patients get a faster diagnosis, allow for immediate treatment planning, and get on the road to recovery more quickly.

Diagnostic ultrasound is not readily available on many NHS clinics because it requires additional training and experience. That’s where we come in!

How patients can benefit from diagnostic ultrasound:

Real-time results

Ultrasounds offer on-the-spot feedback. If the image reveals any issues, we can begin diagnosing straight away and immediately begin to discuss treatment options.

Portable technology

We work around you. If you are in a great deal of pain or struggling to move your injured area, this portable technology can be brought to the examination bedside. Ultrasound is particularly helpful in diagnosing tough-to-image tissue, such as rotator cuff injuries. We can use a handheld ultrasound device to get a good look at the rotator cuff tendons and see whether there is a tear, strain, or a number of other pathologies- and you might be able to avoid lying in the tube of an MRI machine, or moving into potentially uncomfortable positions for an X-ray. While X-rays and MRIs produce static images, ultrasounds have the ability to show the anatomy and the injury, in motion. If you tell us that an area of your body hurts during movement, we are able to use dynamic imaging to view your muscles, tendons and ligaments whilst in motion. You can watch too, if you’re up for it!

Less Exposure

Ultrasounds use sound waves to produce images. They don’t use radiation like an X-ray. This allows for prolonged and repeated exposure, as required. MRI scans are known to use magnetic fields, which can affect pacemakers and other metal implants; ultrasounds are safe from this also.

Lower Cost

Ultrasounds often cost less money than and MRI or X-ray, and are often all we need to make a diagnosis, and begin a treatment plan.

In Conclusion

Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound has become a crucial imaging technique for evaluating soft tissue and joint related abnormalities. With multi-planar capabilities, the ability to use movement and compression to dynamically assess structures and compare affected and unaffected sides can easily be achieved. It is an important imaging technique for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with joint pain and dysfunction, soft tissue injury and soft tissue masses and is an indispensable tool in the clinical management of sports injuries, joint disorders and disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

No referral? No worry - book now for direct access to our ultrasound service.

We support both self-pay and insured patients. If you are self-funding, you can request to book a scan online within minutes. If you are insured, please contact our team to discuss your imaging request and arrange an appointment.