The human body is made up of numerous bones, muscles, joints, tendons, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Referred to as the musculoskeletal system, these areas work together to provide body form, shape, and support for internal organs. This system also plays a key role in providing strength and stability in movements, such as walking, sitting, standing, or carrying out other important tasks.
When problems occur in any of these areas, either as a result of an injury, illness, or chronic health condition, it can impact all of the body’s functions. This can cause weakness, swelling, and significant amounts of pain, preventing you from performing even simple daily activities. At Intermountain Medical Imaging, our board certified, ACR accredited radiologists rely on MSK ultrasound procedures as a safe, painless, and highly effective way to identify and diagnose musculoskeletal issues so that they can be treated by your doctor.
Ultrasound Imaging Of The Musculoskeletal System
At IMI, ultrasound procedures provide a non-invasive way for our radiologists to see what is going on within the internal organs and body tissues. It relies on the use of a probe and ultrasound gel, which is placed directly on the skin’s surface and acts as a conductor, to produce high frequency sound waves. These sound waves then bounce or echo off the various bones, muscles, organs, and other body structures and get converted into moving images.
A computer allows our radiologists to view these ultrasound images in real time and to take detailed pictures. These images can then be sent to your doctor, where they are used to diagnose and treat different medical conditions. Unlike x-rays, which can accomplish similar goals, MSK ultrasound does not expose the patient to radiation. Many people are familiar with the procedure as it is routinely performed during pregnancy.
What Is MSK Ultrasound Used For?
MSK ultrasound is one of the many safe and highly effective diagnostic procedures offered at IMI. Your ultrasound exam can be performed quickly, easily, and comfortably by our skilled and accredited ultrasound technologists directly in our Boise or other Treasure Valley offices.
There is no pain or side effects that you need to worry about with MSK ultrasound testing. The highly detailed images MSK ultrasound provides and the ability to see how bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues work together make it a valuable tool for helping people who suffer from accidental injuries, medical illnesses, and chronic health conditions that can impact the musculoskeletal system. The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) recommends MSK ultrasound testing in diagnosing and treating the following:
- Strains and sprains of the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues due to accidental injuries;
- Tendonitis, which is swelling and irritation that can occur within the tendons and often affects the shoulders, elbows, and knees;
- Nerve issues, which can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions resulting in muscle pain and weakness;
- Early changes associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA);
- Joint inflammation and swelling;
- Problems with the bursae, which are the fluid filled sacs within the joints;
- Hernias, cysts, or foreign bodies within the soft tissues, such as bone spurs or splinters;
- Benign and malignant soft tissue tumors and other growths.
What To Expect From An MSK Ultrasound At IMI
Patients are often pleasantly surprised by how easy MSK ultrasound procedures are. Aside from any specific instructions provided, there is little you need to do to prepare for your visit. It is best to wear loose fitting clothing and minimal jewelry, as you may need to remove some or all of these items depending on the part of the body being examined. The following outlines what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure:
- At your visit to IMI, you will be greeted warmly by our staff and led to an exam room, where your medical information will be verified;
- The technologist will instruct you to lie down on an examining table and a clear gel will be applied on or near the body part;
- A transducer, which is a hand held device that looks like a microphone, will be guided over this area and will relay images from the site to a computer screen;
- The process is often completed in as little as 20 minutes, and you can resume normal activities immediately after.
Contact Intermountain Medical Imaging Today
At Intermountain Medical Imaging, MSK ultrasound procedures can help to identify and treat issues that cause you pain, swelling, and limited movement. To find out more about this procedure and other services we offer, contact our Boise area IMI offices to request an appointment today.