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World J Orthop. 2011 Jul 18;2(7):57-66. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v2.i7..

Ultrasound-assisted musculoskeletal procedures: A practical overview of current literature.

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  • 1Nelson A Royall, David P Bahner, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, United States.


Traditionally performed by a small group of highly trained specialists, bedside sonographic procedures involving the musculoskeletal system are often delayed despite the critical need for timely diagnosis and treatment. Due to this limitation, a need evolved for more portability and accessibility to allow performance of emergent musculoskeletal procedures by adequately trained non-radiology personnel. The emergence of ultrasound-assisted bedside techniques and increased availability of portable sonography provided such an opportunity in select clinical scenarios. This review summarizes the current literature describing common ultrasound-based musculoskeletal procedures. In-depth discussion of each ultrasound procedure including pertinent technical details, indications and contraindications is provided. Despite the limited amount of prospective, randomized data in this area, a substantial body of observational and retrospective evidence suggests potential benefits from the use of musculoskeletal bedside sonography.


Abscess drainage, Arthrocentesis, Articular injection, Fluid collection, Foreign body removal, Musculoskeletal ultrasound-guided procedures, Tendon injection

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