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Most common shoulder problems fall into four major categories: rotator cuff injury, calcific tendonitis, bursitis and adhesive capsulitis. This conditions often lead to the shoulder impingement syndrome – pain and difficulties with lifting the arm.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is the first line of investigation in sports medicine and can provide a quick answer for such questions as ‘is there a tear?’, ‘is it a sprain?’, ‘what is the best management – rest and physiotherapy, or a surgical consultation?’
The most commonly affected tendons in the shoulder are the four rotator cuff tendons and one of the biceps tendons. The rotator cuff is made up of four small muscles and their tendons that cover the head of your upper arm bone and keep it in the shoulder socket. Your rotator cuff helps provide shoulder motion and stability
Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that are located in joints throughout the body, including the shoulder. They act as cushions between bones and the overlying soft tissues, and help reduce friction between the gliding muscles and the bone. Sometimes, excessive use of the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of the bursa between the rotator cuff and part of the shoulder blade. Bursitis often occurs in association with rotator cuff tendinitis. The many tissues in the shoulder can become inflamed and painful.
A great advantage of ultrasound is the absence of ionizing radiation. It is particularly important for children and in pregnancy. While X-rays are useful for bone and joint surface conditions, MRI and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound are used for evaluation of the soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments and tendons
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a dynamic study that allows radiologists to follow a structure all the way from its origin to its attachment. Together with X-ray Imaging, Ultrasonography is considered as first line modality in investigation of musculoskeletal pathology. It is gaining popularity among the orthopaedic surgeons, sport medicine specialists, rheumatologists, general practitioners and physiotherapists, who used to refer their patients to CT and MRI only.
Ultrasound also greatly helps with injection procedures, guiding a specialist to a specific structure of interest (bursa, tendon, joint space). It significantly improves the accuracy of the injection, thereby directly increasing the effectiveness of the procedure overall, so for more information on
musculoskeletal ultrasound (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle scans) please go to http://eastmedradiology.co.nz .