Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
A doctor uses a muskuloskeletal ultrasound on a patient's wrist.

Credit: Robert A. Lisak

Ultrasound is a safe and painless way of using sound waves to look at parts of the human anatomy. The technology works on a principle similar to that used in sonar, which helps submarines navigate, and echolocation, which allows bats to see their surroundings even on moonless nights.

Ultrasound has many applications, from diagnosing injuries such as muscle tears and chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, to guiding caregivers through diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. No radiation or injectable contrast agent is needed.

"Musculoskeletal ultrasound allows physicians to see—in high resolution—a person’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints," says Risa H. Kent, MD, a Yale Medicine radiologist.

At Yale Medicine, our radiologists, clinicians and technicians are highly trained and experienced with our state-of-the-art technology, often allowing us to diagnose and treat a condition during the same ultrasound visit.