It has been only since the last decade that Ultrasound scanning (or Echography) made its entrance in the consultation room of physiotherapists. Although still not widespread, Ultrasound scans have become the new standard in diagnostics of soft tissue lesions. Why are these scans suddenly important?
In the old days, consultations were done by testing a specific tissue by palpation, stretch tests etc. If these tests were ‘positive’, the consultant came up with all sorts of diagnoses, such as ‘tendinitis’ or ‘bursitis’. But the problem is there is no such thing as inflammation of tendons, therefore a lot of treatments are meaningless and sometimes harmful for the affected tissue.
Ultrasound scans opened a new world for inquisitive therapists. By scanning you can actually see what is wrong in the affected area. There is e.g. a big difference in a partially ruptured tendon or a case of tendinopathy (= degenerated tendon). By doing several tests you simply cannot differentiate the two!
‘Reading’ an Ultrasound scan is not easy. There are many pitfalls, which can cause a ‘false’ diagnosis.
The big advantages of an Ultrasound scan are several:
- It is cost effective, the diagnosis will be done in one consultation
- The diagnosis will be done by a qualified therapist, who also understands the consequence of the scan
- The treatment or advice is ‘state-of-the-art’, because it is not based on assumptions
The most common injuries where Ultrasound scans are used are:
Rotator cuff (shoulder), tennis- or golfers’ elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist), knee tendons, achilles-tendon and fasciitis plantaris (foot). But in fact all soft tissues can be seen in an Ultrasound scan.
An Ultrasound Scan is nowadays a mandatory tool in diagnostics.
If you would like more information, please contact Bernard Vrijaldenhoven (mob. 91 847 6000) or the International Health Centres in Albufeira (Tel. 289 588 923)