Over the past 15 years, musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) has gained appreciation as a valuable tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of rheumatologic disease, in addition to guiding intervention. Its advantages include portability, safety (ultrasound is radiation-free), and the ability to provide real-time information to the rheumatologist at the point of care. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal ultrasound detects early signs of joint damage much more easily than traditional x-rays. Ultrasound is also able to assess joints for inflammation, thereby providing another helpful tool to help the rheumatologist guide treatment decisions. In the case of osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal ultrasound is able to detect joint effusions (excess joint fluid) when not identifiable by traditional palpation methods, and has demonstrated value in improving the accuracy of joint injections and aspirations. These are but only a few examples that demonstrate the value of musculoskeletal ultrasound in rheumatology.
Vanguard Rheumatology Partners employs musculoskeletal ultrasound at the point of care to assist with early diagnosis and monitoring of treatment when traditional methods, including history-taking and physical examination, do not provide sufficient or adequate information. Moreover, we use musculoskeletal ultrasound to improve the accuracy of joint aspiration and injection, providing for greater patient comfort and more successful outcomes compared to traditional palpation methods.Next: Mount Sinai Medical Center