We normally associate ultrasound with the joys of pregnancy. However, advances in technology and training have brought diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound into Orthopedic offices. While the image below may seem like shades of grey, it is an Achilles tendon. The knee is to the left and the foot is to the right. The bony outline of the heel can be seen at the 3 o’clock position. The tendon is the organized strand of tissue going from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock.
Not only is this technology helpful in diagnosing normal from abnormal, but it also can be used to accurately place a needle so that therapeutic injections are no longer done “blind”. Medication, such as cortisone or platelet-rich plasma, can be placed exactly where it is needed. For the diagnosis of Achilles tendon tears, many commercial insurers are requiring that an ultrasound be performed prior to an MRI.
Here at Performance Orthopedics of Annapolis, we utilize the SonoSite M-turbo musculoskeletal ultrasound on a daily basis in the office to assist with injections of medications and to enable us to give patients a diagnosis on the day of their visit. With this technology, and our in-office digital x-ray, we strive for the goal of becoming a one stop, same-day, shop for musculoskeletal care.