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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Apr;86(4):310-21.

Introduction to musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound: examination of the upper limb.

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Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stanford University School of Medicine/VA Palo Alto, CA, USA.


With recent advances in computer technology and equipment miniaturization, the clinical application of diagnostic ultrasonography (U/S) has spread across various medical specialties. Diagnostic U/S is attractive in terms of its noninvasiveness, lack of radiation, readiness of use, cost-effectiveness, and its ability to make dynamic examinations possible. Dynamic imaging deserves special emphasis because it is useful in differentiating full-thickness from partial-thickness tendon tears, muscle tears, and tendon and nerve subluxations or dislocations. It is also a quick and easy avenue for side-to-side comparisons. When appropriately used, diagnostic U/S can be considered as an extension of one's physical examination. However, there are limitations of U/S, which will be discussed in this review article. This is part 1 of two articles; this first part will focus on the ultrasound examination of the upper extremity, using selected examples relevant to musculoskeletal medicine. Part 2 will cover common pathologies of the lower extremity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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