Tony Ruse M.D.



Musculoskeletal ultrasound: taking sports medicine to the next level

Kimberly G Harmon1, Francis G O'Connor2

+ Author Affiliations

1 Immediate Past President American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Hall Health Sports Medicine Clinic, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
2 President, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, USUHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to
Kimberly G Harmon, Hall Health Sports Medicine Clinic, Box 354410, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA;
Accepted 20 October 2010

Ultrasound (US) technology is rapidly revolutionising the way medicine is practiced at the point of care. US is currently utilised as an integral tool in multiple non-radiologic specialties including emergency medicine, anaesthesia, neurology, general surgery, endocrinology, physical medicine, rheumatology, paediatrics and family medicine. (1–5) In primary care, in particular, US instruction is routinely incorporated in residency training to facilitate prenatal care in the office, assist in vascular access in the in-patient setting and manage the trauma patient in the emergency room. (6, 7) The incorporation of some component of US training in the education of medical students and residents in the United States is now considered routine.


Musculoskeletal (MSK) US has largely been ignored in North America for the past 25 years in favour of MRI. The last 5 years, however, has seen a renaissance for MSK US in North America as we strive to catch up to our European colleagues. The re-emergence of MSK US has been driven by technological advances which have made the instruments affordable, portable and practical for the office setting. US can be a cost-effective diagnostic tool in the evaluation of the patient with MSK pain (8–10) and this has opened up new opportunities for both diagnostic and therapeutic interventions performed at the point of care.


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