Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Get an accurate diagnosis.

The orthopedic specialists at Novant Health use dynamic ultrasound imaging to precisely locate the cause of your muscle and joint discomfort. This safe, painless and cost-effective alternative to MRI identifies musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, sprains, tears and trapped nerves.  

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Patient getting an utrasound

What is a musculoskeletal ultrasound?

This diagnostic imaging procedure provides a detailed, in-depth look at your joint or muscle condition. Using advanced technology, the specially trained ultrasound specialists at Novant Health can help you get to the root of your pain. It's a reliable and more cost-effective way to identify your specific bone or muscle issue.

How does an ultrasound work?

Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to capture static and moving images inside your body. You and your specialist can see clear, well-defined views of your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and soft tissues. These images allow your Novant Health care team to accurately assess the type and extent of your muscle injury or joint damage.

A radiologist, orthopedist or trained technician typically performs the ultrasound procedure. They'll spread a thin layer of clear gel on your skin and move a wand-like device called a transducer back and forth over the affected area. The transducer sends sound waves into your body safely and painlessly. This wave activity produces dynamic images of your muscles, joints and other internal structures.

Why choose Novant Health for musculoskeletal ultrasounds?

At Novant Health, we use advanced ultrasound technology to accurately diagnose and treat your musculoskeletal condition. Our highly trained bone and joint specialists use the latest musculoskeletal ultrasound equipment to capture moving and still images of the affected area with clarity and precision similar to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Your team will then review and assess the ultrasound results and work with you to design a treatment plan for you. The process is safe enough that you can have the procedure repeated later to see how the affected area is healing and whether any treatment adjustments are needed.    

Are ultrasounds effective MRI alternatives?

Advances in musculoskeletal ultrasound technology now make this a safer, more affordable and comfortable imaging technique than MRI. Novant Health uses a new generation of musculoskeletal ultrasound machines that provide clear, accurate pictures of your muscles, joints and joint-supporting structures such as tendons and ligaments.

Advantages of an in-office ultrasound MRI include:

  • Convenience. You don't have to schedule a separate MRI appointment at another location.
  • Cost. Ultrasounds are generally more affordable than traditional MRIs.
  • Speed. You can have your procedure and get the imaging results in the same visit.
  • Accuracy. A musculoskeletal ultrasound provides a precise and dynamic assessment of the affected area in motion.
  • Safety. You won't be exposed to high-intensity magnetic fields or radiation.
  • Therapy Support. Your specialist can accurately guide needles for injections of anti-inflammatory and pain medications.

How do I prepare for my ultrasound?

On the day of your appointment, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and leave any jewelry at home. Depending on the area to be treated, you may be asked to change into a gown. Once you arrive at one of our clinics, plan to be there for about an hour. This allows time for the procedure and your Novant Health specialist to review the images with you and discuss the results.