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Crit Ultrasound J. 2012 May 28;4(1):11. doi: 10.1186/2036-7902-4-11.

Overview of ultrasound usage trends in orthopedic and sports physiotherapy.

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Departamento de Morfologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Av, Lagoa Nova S/N, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, 1524-59072-970, Brazil.



The purpose of this study is to examine current beliefs about the use, the clinical importance, the theoretical fundamentals and the utilization criteria of therapeutic ultrasound (TUS) among physical therapists on the clinical practice in orthopedic and sports physiotherapy in Brazil.


A brief survey was developed based on previous studies and was sent to 55 physical therapists with advanced competency in orthopedics and sports physiotherapy. The questions addressed general topics about the professional profile and ultrasound usage and dosage.


Our data show the wide availability and frequent use of TUS in this sample of physical therapists. TUS is used in distinct musculoskeletal injuries and/or disorders in both acute and chronic conditions. Muscles, tendons and ligaments represented the major structures where TUS is used. Questions on the basic theory of TUS demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the ultrasound physiological effects as well as its interaction with biological tissues and TUS absolute contraindication.


A Brazilian profile about the US usage and dosage in orthopedic and sports physiotherapy is presented and highlights the need for a continuous upgrading process and further research into its effects.

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