Benefits vs Risks of a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Benefits

  • Most ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections) and is usually painless.
  • Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods.
  • Ultrasound imaging uses no ionizing radiation.
  • Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on X-ray images.
  • Ultrasound causes no health problems and may be repeated as often as is necessary.
  • Ultrasound provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies and needle aspiration.
  • Unlike the strong magnetic field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound is not affected by cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic implants or fragments within the body. Ultrasound is also an excellent alternative to MRI for claustrophobic patients.
  • Ultrasound may actually have advantages over MRI in seeing tendon structure, which is easier to see by ultrasound than MRI.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Risks

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound there are no known harmful effects on humans.