Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound Logo

What is Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound?

What is a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

Musculoskeletal abnormalities have traditionally been evaluated with X-rays, MRI and CT scans. A Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a relatively quick alternative that is used to supplement the information provided by those tests. It is best suited for evaluating the soft tissues rather than the bones. Structures like muscles, tendons, ligaments and bursae are seen with excellent detail.

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Why would my physician recommend a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

Your physician may recommend a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound if you have shoulder or foot pain or to determine the cause of any symptomatic muscle or joint. It is also an excellent option for patients who cannot have an MRI scan because of claustrophobia or contraindications like a pacemaker. 

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What types of conditions can a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound help to diagnose?

A Musculoskeletal Ultrasound can identify torn muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as abnormalities such as tendinitis, bursitis and fluid inside of joints. Ultrasound is also helpful for characterizing the nature of lumps and hernias. 

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What should I expect during a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

If this is your first Ultrasound, you may not be sure what to expect. Not to worry, we are here to guide you every step of the way. During a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, warm gel is placed over the area to be tested and a probe is gently passed back and forth on your skin over the area to create and pick up sound waves, which are converted into an image on a screen.

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What should I expect after a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

When the imaging is complete, the clear gel will be wiped off of your skin. If any is left on the skin, it will dry like a powder and will not stain or discolor your clothing. Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal activity level.

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How do I schedule a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings and afternoons at the locations listed above. Learn more about each location.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?