When is MSK Ultrasound a better option that than MRI?

By: Methodist Hospitals Last Updated: August 1, 2022

Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound is a safe scanning technology that uses sound waves to deliver diagnostic images of tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles. 
As a result, MSK Ultrasound patients are not exposed to ionizing radiation. MSK Ultrasound also provides information about structures that cannot be gathered by conventional X-ray. In most examinations, a hand-held transducer and warm gel are placed on the patient’s skin. The transducer is both a transmitter and receiver, sending sound waves to the tissues. The reflected echoes are displayed as a two-dimensional image on a video screen.
Although MRI is more widely used than Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound for many musculoskeletal conditions, MSK Ultrasound can deliver comparable results for several issues, including…
· Tendon tears and tendinopathy
· Tendinitis of the rotator cuff
· Achilles tendon
· Plantar fasciitis
· Focal muscle strains and contusions
· Nerve entrapment
· Ligament tears and sprains
· Joint effusions
An MSK Ultrasound may cost less than half that of an MRI exam. In addition to being quicker and less expensive than MRI, high-resolution MSK Ultrasound is safe and comfortable:
· No radiation exposure.
· Real-time imaging
· Useful for patients unable to have an MRI
· Safe for children.
· Safe with pacemakers and defibrillators
· Avoids claustrophobia issues associated with some MRI machines.
Methodist Hospitals ultrasound technologists are fully trained with expertise in performing MSK Ultrasound testing. In fact, there are only four musculoskeletal sonographers in the entire state of Indiana who are registered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). One of those four registered musculoskeletal sonographers is at Methodist Hospitals.
MSK Ultrasound is performed at the Methodist Hospitals Northlake and Southlake campuses. For more information or to schedule your MSK ultrasound, call the ultrasound departments at: