Ultrasound has been consolidated in recent years as one of the main diagnostic techniques in musculoskeletal injuries.
Advantages of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Rheumatology
The reasons for the incorporation of ultrasound in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases lie in several aspects:
- Speed of execution of the ultrasound technique, which allows repeating the test when convenient, reviewing the evolution of the ailment.
- Comfort in the process of patient care, since it does not require any prior preparation of the patient to perform it. It is perceived by the patient as a friendly exploration.
- It informs the specialist immediately about the cause and severity of the injury and the most appropriate treatment measures.
- Low cost in different approaches, since the technique does not require shielding of the examination room or sophistication in the furniture to perform the test. A high performance ultrasound starts to have a very advantageous cost-benefit ratio.
It can be performed in the same medical act or visit, incorporating at the same time treatment measures such as directing the emptying of joint effusions, bursitis, hematomas or seromas, as well as liquid or semi-liquid collections for analysis. It also allows interventional treatments at the bedside, introducing drugs for the resolution of biomechanical, inflammatory or tumor damage.
Motor diseases to be observed with ultrasound
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is indicated for the study and diagnosis of common pathologies of the locomotor system such as osteoarthritis, arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, ligament and meniscus injuries, enthesitis, muscle and fascia injuries as well as examination of bone cortices. It also allows to assess tumors that settle in musculoskeletal areas as well as adjacent pathology in skin, nerves and peripheral vessels.
Diagnosis and treatment in one ultrasound session
An approximation of the problem of the patient’s locomotor system is achieved in the same medical act of the Clinical Consultation with the interrogation and physical examination, to immediately proceed to examine and diagnose through musculoskeletal ultrasound. Frequently this reveals lesions that can be treated at the same time with ultrasound-directed interventional punctures.
With this work method, the process that is usually required is reduced to 1 visit or medical act: first visit in the office, request for services or tests in another center and in a third visit review of the results and therapeutic decision making.
The consultation of the Rheumatologist Specialist in Ultrasound of the musculoskeletal system with the availability of an Ultrasound Scanner in the same office allows to combine all this process of patient care in the same act and day. It is not surprising that it is also a “friendly” exploration for the Rheumatologist who has it.