Ultrasound is a very useful imaging tool for assessing abnormalities involving muscles, tendons, bursae and joints. It has no known harmful effects, allows dynamic assessment of muscles, tendons and joints during movement which is not possible with x-rays, CT or MRI. It is relatively inexpensive and highly accurate with sub millimetre resolution.
We commonly use ultrasound to assess joints for evidence of arthritis, tendons for evidence of tendonitis (swollen tendon), and tendon tears (which may be partial or complete), and bursae for evidence of bursitis.
The symptoms for which ultrasound may be used include pain over a muscle, tendon or joint, lumps which may be fluid filled or soft tissue consistency and limitation of movement of the large or small joints.