Musculoskeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound Scans

Roundwood Health Clinic is based in Barnsley and provides ultrasound scans designed to help ensure that the reason for your pain is accurately diagnosed. Ultrasound scans can help to identify tissue that is inflamed or damaged and allow the clinical team to prescribe the most effective treatment.

Although a referral is not required for a scan (health scheme clients need to check with their company) we do welcome referrals from GP’s and other health care professionals.

ultrasound

What is an ultrasound scan of the Musculoskeletal system?

An ultrasound scan is a safe and painless procedure using sound waves to produce pictures of inside the body. High-frequency sound waves (much higher than we can hear!) are transmitted from a small transducer (probe) which is placed directly on the skin over some ultrasound gel. The probe collects these sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses these sound waves to create an image that you will see on a screen in front of you.

Ultrasound examinations do not use radiation (like an x-ray) so the whole procedure is thought to be very safe and non-invasive. As the ultrasound images are captured in real time they show the structure and movement of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and joints.
Ultrasound scanning is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears and other soft tissue conditions.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

An ultrasound scan can be used to help diagnose:
• Damage to tendons and tendonitis.
• Inflammation in joints and degenerative changes.
• Muscle tears.
• Increased fluid within bursae (fluid filled sacs) – typically a significant cause of significant pain.
• Ligament sprains or tears.
• Ganglion cysts.

How should I prepare for my ultrasound scan?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing when you attend for your ultrasound scan. You may need to remove clothing and jewellery in the area to be examined but will be provided with a towel for privacy if needed.
You will be able to see pictures of your scan on a screen and the physiotherapist will explain those images to you during the procedure.
No other preparation is required.

How is the procedure performed?

For certain examinations you may be seated whilst the scan is performed. For other ultrasound exams you may be positioned lying face-up or face-down on an examination bed depending on the body part being scanned. The physiotherapist performing the scan may move or ask you to move the body part being examined to evaluate the anatomy and function of the joint, muscle, tendon or ligament.

After you are positioned comfortably the physiotherapist will apply a water-based gel to the area of the body being studied. The gel ensures that the transducer has secure contact with the skin to create the sound waves which is then moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.

There is usually no discomfort during the scan although if the area is sore you may feel some pressure or tenderness. The examination is usually completed within 15-30 minutes.

Once the scan is finished the ultrasound gel will be wiped off and the physiotherapist will discuss the results of your scan with you, including potential treatment options.

After an ultrasound examination you can resume your normal activities immediately.

For more information or if you have any questions please speak to your physiotherapist.