With improved technology and image quality, diagnostic ultrasound has been shown to be as accurate as MRI particularly for tendon injuries, as well as many muscle and ligament injuries.

Key features of diagnostic ultrasound include:

  • It is safe for patients (non-invasive, no radiation, painless procedure).
  • Results are immediate and facilitate optimised physical treatment and to accurately direct treatments to a specific area of tissue damage, e.g. for dry needling techniques and shockwave therapy. They also allow for optimal and timely onward referral if indicated.
  • Dynamic scanning can be performed (scanning whilst patient performs movement) and comparison with the asymptomatic side.
  • Sequential assessment of healing, e.g. muscle tear.
  • Ultrasound is less expensive than most alternative forms of imaging like MRI or CT.

Ultrasound can also be useful in the assessment of nerve impingements, monitoring of tissue healing (such as muscles and tendons), as well as to confirm areas of swelling.

Diagnostic Ultrasound