Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that allows us to visualize the internal architecture of many soft tissue structures.
Disease or injury to soft tissue structures causes a change in the appearance of the tissue so the use of ultrasonography allows us to diagnose, document and quantify the extent of the damage. Ultrasound is performed initially to diagnose injury or disease however it is also used extensively during follow up examinations to monitor and assess the degree of healing, particularly in tendon injuries.
Ultrasound is an excellent compliment to radiography (x-rays) because it allows us to examine the soft tissue structures associated with joints that cannot be visualized on x-rays.
Structures such as the joint capsule/synovium, joint fluid, cartilage, ligaments, and subchondral bone in many joints such as the fetlock, knee and stifle can be assessed. In some instances, ultrasound also can be used to view bone surfaces for the presence of fractures and infected bone. For example, pelvic fractures are commonly detected by ultrasonographic examination.
In addition, ultrasound can also be used to evaluate the presence of foreign bodies with penetrating wounds, chronic non-healing draining tracts or to determine the nature of a swelling or mass such as an abscess, hematoma or a tumor.
The thoracic (chest) and abdominal cavities are areas also commonly scanned to detect disease. In cases of pneumonia ultrasound can detect fluid on the lungs, abscesses or consolidation of lung tissue. Abdominal organs such as the intestine, kidney, liver and spleen can be examined in cases of colic (abdominal pain), chronic weight loss or evidence of organ disease.
Ultrasound guided injections of tendon and ligament injuries are commonly performed as well. Tendon and ligament treatments such as, stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) are delivered via ultrasound guided injections. This technique allows us to accurately deliver the drug directly into the damaged area.
What is involved in the procedure?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive, non-painful procedure that can be performed on a standing patient under light sedation. To obtain the best image, the area to be scanned should be clipped and thoroughly cleaned. A coupling gel is also applied to the area to ensure ‘good contact’ between the patient and the probe. A thorough examination typically takes around 30-40 minutes.
Our practice is equipped with a state of the art portable digital ultrasound machine, the Sonosite Micromaxx, which is considered one of the best portable ultrasound equipment currently available. This technology produces very high quality still and moving (video) images which can all be recorded and copied to CD/DVD or USB.
Ultrasound can be performed at your barn, all we need is a shady area to perform the examination. Ultrasound services are provided all throughout Orange County. Dr. Colladay frequently visits San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Coto de Caza, Laguna Hills and everywhere in between. Please call if you would like to discuss or have any questions.