About my Musculoskeletal Scan

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. 

Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provide pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and soft tissues throughout the body

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:

  • tendon tears, or tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body.
  • muscle tears, masses or fluid collections.
  • ligament sprains or tears.
  • inflammation or fluid (effusions) within the bursae and joints.
  • early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • benign and malignant soft tissue tumors.
  • ganglion cysts.
  • hernias.
  • foreign bodies in the soft tissues (such as splinters or glass).

How is the procedure performed?

  • For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images.
  • After you are positioned on the examination table, the sonographer will apply a warm water-based gel to the area of the body being studied. The gel will help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The transducer is placed on the body and moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.
  • There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.
  • Once the imaging is complete, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolour clothing.

Risks

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.
  • That being said it is possible that there is a small risk of a heating affect of prolonged scanning over tissues in the same area, this is usually only considered of concern in examinations where a fetus is involved which does not apply in this case. However, It is for this reason that all sonographers in all exams generally use a principle called ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and so will minimise their scanning time of the same area for prolonged periods of time.

Pelvic Ultrasound Information

Ultrasound imaging of the pelvis uses sound waves to produce pictures of the structures and organs in the lower abdomen and pelvis. There are three types of pelvic ultrasound: abdominal, vaginal (for women). These exams are frequently used to evaluate the reproductive and urinary systems. Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive and does not use ionizing radiation.

This procedure requires little to no special preparation. You will be asked to drink water prior to the examination to fill your bladder.

Ultrasound involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body.

There are two types of pelvic ultrasound:

In women, a pelvic ultrasound is most often performed to evaluate the:

A transvaginal ultrasound is usually performed to view the endometrium(the lining of the uterus) and the ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound also evaluates the myometrium (muscular walls of the uterus). 

How the procedure is performed:

Transabdominal:

For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images.

After you are positioned on the examination table, the sonographer will apply a warm water-based gel to the area of the body being studied. The gel will help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The transducer is placed on the body and moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.

There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.

Once the imaging is complete, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolour clothing.

Transvaginal:

Transvaginal ultrasound is performed very much like a gynaecologic exam and involves the insertion of the transducer into the vagina after you empty your bladder. The transducer is disinfected before and after each procedure. The tip of the transducer is smaller than the standard speculum used when performing a smear. A protective cover is placed over the transducer, lubricated with a small amount of gel, and then inserted into the vagina. Only two to three inches of the transducer end are inserted into the vagina. The images are obtained from different orientations to get the best views of the uterus and ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound is usually performed with you lying on your back, possibly with your feet similar to a gynaecologic exam.

Sometimes the sonographer has to apply some pressure whilst the probe is inserted and this is to assess the consistency and structures or sometimes to move bowel out of the line of site and is completely normal.

Risks

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.
  • That being said it is thought that there maybe a small risk of a heating affect of prolonged scanning over tissues in the same area, this is usually only considered of concern in examinations where a fetus is involved which does not apply in this case. However, It is for this reason that all sonographers in all exams generally use a principle called ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and so will minimise their scanning time of the same area for prolonged periods of time.
  • Please refer to the BMUS (British medical ultrasound society) statement provided in this pack.

Abdominal Ultrasound Information

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. 

Abdominal ultrasound imaging is performed to evaluate the:

Preparations depend on the type of ultrasound you are having.

  • For a study of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, you may be asked to eat a fat-free meal on the evening before the test and then to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test.
  • For ultrasound of the kidneys, you may be asked to drink four to six glasses of liquid about an hour before the test to fill your bladder. You may be asked to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test to avoid gas buildup in the intestines.
  • For ultrasound of the aorta, you may need to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test.

How the procedure is performed:

  • For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images.
  • After you are positioned on the examination table, the sonographer will apply a warm water-based gel to the area of the body being studied. The gel will help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The transducer is placed on the body and moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.
  • There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.
  • Once the imaging is complete, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolour clothing.

Risks

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.
  • That being said it is possible that there is a small risk of a heating affect of prolonged scanning over tissues in the same area, this is usually only considered of concern in examinations where a fetus is involved which does not apply in this case. However, It is for this reason that all sonographers in all exams generally use a principle called ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and so will minimise their scanning time of the same area for prolonged periods of time.

Testes Ultrasound Information

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. 

Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provide pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and soft tissues throughout the body.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Ultrasound imaging of the scrotum is the primary imaging method used to evaluate disorders of the testicles, epididymis (a tube immediately next to a testis that collects sperm made by the testicle) and scrotum.

This study is typically used to:

  • determine whether a mass in the scrotum felt by the patient or doctor is cystic or solid and its location.
  • diagnose results of trauma to the scrotal area.
  • diagnose causes of testicular pain or swelling such as inflammation or torsion.
  • evaluate the cause of infertility such as varicocele.

How is the procedure performed?

  • For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images.
  • After you are positioned on the examination table, the sonographer will apply a warm water-based gel to the area of the body being studied. The gel will help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The transducer is placed on the body and moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.
  • There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.
  • Once the imaging is complete, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolour clothing.

Risks

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.
  • That being said it is possible that there is a small risk of a heating affect of prolonged scanning over tissues in the same area, this is usually only considered of concern in examinations where a fetus is involved which does not apply in this case. However, It is for this reason that all sonographers in all exams generally use a principle called ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and so will minimise their scanning time of the same area for prolonged periods of time.