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Musculoskeletal Diagnostics: Sonography vs. MRI

December 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — ommdoc @ 6:49 pm
Doctor using musculoskeletal ultrasound on patient’s knee

If you are dealing with a musculoskeletal condition, such as an injury, your medical team may need to use imaging technology in order to learn more about the problem. From there, they will be able to make a recommendation about how you can find pain relief and start to heal. Many practices rely on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for musculoskeletal diagnostics. However, they often overlook another very important tool: sonography (also called ultrasound). In fact, sonography offers some remarkable advantages over MRI. What are those advantages? This blog post explains.

Sonography Is Suitable for Every Patient

Some patients cannot undergo an MRI scan if they have a pacemaker or certain types of metal implants. Other individuals are claustrophobic and start to panic while in an MRI machine, and still others find it extremely uncomfortable to be immobilized during an MRI scan.

Sonography is suitable for all patients because it uses soundwaves instead of magnets. Plus, it allows patients to be examined in a comfortable position.

Sonography Allows for Dynamic, Real-Time Examination

An MRI requires patients to remain still, so it may not be able to diagnose abnormalities that occur only when a patient is in motion. With sonography, you can move during the examination, which can give your doctor real-time information about why you are experiencing difficulties.

Sonography Is Precise

A patient may be in pain, but they might not have any concrete information about the nature of their injury or disease. An ultrasound probe can be placed directly over the area that is causing discomfort, allowing for precise diagnostic information. With an MRI, it can sometimes be difficult for the examiner to pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s problem.

Sonography Can Be Used for Guided Injections

Some musculoskeletal treatments require that injections be administered in a very precise manner. Otherwise, the treatment may not be as effective as desired. Ultrasound can be used to help your doctor figure out exactly where to place the needle so the therapeutic solution they are using can go straight to your damaged tissues and start the process of helping you heal. MRI does not provide this advantage at all.

Sonography Has a Flexible Field of View

An MRI scan can provide a wide field of view to allow doctors to get a comprehensive look at a patient’s tissues. Sonography has a narrow field of view, but it is flexible. It can be used to easily examine long nerves and other structures in the body in a dynamic way, which in some cases is more useful than the MRI’s wide view.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a remarkable diagnostic tool! Why not ask your doctor if it could be used to help you get started on the path to a healthier body?

Meet the Practice

At the Institute for Non-Surgical Orthopedics, Dr. Joel Stein and our team provide a wide range of services, including musculoskeletal ultrasound for both diagnostics and guided injections. If you are curious about how it may be able to play a role in your care, we would be happy to answer your questions. Contact our Fort Lauderdale office at 954-563-2707.

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