lunedì 4 marzo 2013


 2012 Mar 22-Apr 11;21(6):340-4.

Musculoskeletal US: examining the joints.


Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, Kent.


Musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) is an excellent tool to diagnose muscle, tendon and ligament injuries, cystic structures and peripheral nerve compression, as well as soft tissue masses, without the risk of ionizing radiation. Musculoskeletal US is now routinely used by a growing number of rheumatology and sports medicine centres throughout UK. In standard clinical practice, US has an extremely useful application in differentiating fluid from soft tissue and identifying the severity of joint inflammation. The work described in this article was carried out to assess patients' feedback regarding the use of US guidance for intra-articular injections and/or the removal of fluid from their inflamed knee joints in a nurse-led clinic. Nineteen patients who had US-guided knee joint injection/aspiration in the clinic were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their satisfaction with the procedure, and to rate their joint pain and patient global assessment (using numerical visual analogue scale) before the US-guided procedure, and 1 month after. Results revealed a significant improvement (p<0.001) of the joint injection outcome measures and the patients' satisfaction of the US-guided procedure. Therefore, musculoskeletal US can improve two fundamental clinical skills: the clinical diagnosis of joint inflammation, and the accuracy of joint injection/aspiration. This study supports the concept that incorporating musculoskeletal US into clinical practice leads to significant improvements in patient care. It also reveals that US-guided procedures are appreciated by patients.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]