The high-resolution musculoskeletal ultrasound is an imaging technique that through the emission of ultrasound allows the rheumatologist see what's going into a joint in real time.
You might consider the musculoskeletal ultrasound, therefore, as an extension of the physical examination of the patient everything rheumatologist should master and use in their daily practice.
The procedure basically consists in applying ultrasound conductive gel skin or joint area to study and below, with a gentle sweep scout probe, the area is displayed on the screen in question by examining their anatomical structure and allowing issue a diagnosis.
In mechanical pathologies such as OA or tendon degeneration, to assess the degree of wear of the cartilage, the presence of synovial effusion and even the existence of tendon ruptures, for instance. In inflammatory pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthropathies, allows early diagnosis by visualization of the synovial membrane and the presence of inflammatory tissue in the same, which measures the degree of affectation of the joint and then their response to treatment. It is also useful for diagnosing muscle or tendon sports injuries.
Benefits and risks of musculoskeletal ultrasound
The musculoskeletal ultrasound differs from other types of ultrasound basically two aspects that make a difference and credited as a technique with more advantages. First, by the uptake of signal power-doppler (which translates the degree of vascularization ) rheumatologist can evaluate the degree of inflammation of the synovial membrane in an existing joint arthritis. And secondly, allows us to guide intra diagnostic punctures and/or therapeutic by visualization of the needle on screen, as well as steroid injections or hyaluronic acid.
As for the risks, it should be assumed that the musculoskeletal ultrasound is a safe, painless and does not radiate to the patient, being Ultrasonic technique.