You may know ultrasound as a device used during pregnancy. But did you know ultrasound is an important tool used by many medical specialties: including sports medicine?
The Sports Medicine team at Nationwide Children's Hospital uses ultrasound to diagnose bone, joint, muscle, tendon, ligament and nerve injuries.
How Does an Ultrasound Work?
- Ultrasound machines send sound waves through a probe. The probe comes in contact with gel on the skin.
- The sound waves produce an image on a screen by reflecting off body tissues back toward the probe.
- The ultrasound creates detailed images. These images can help see if a body part is normal or abnormal. It can see if the body part is swollen, thickened, torn or stretched with extra blood flow in or around the area.
- Unlike most types of static imaging, such as an X-ray or MRI, ultrasound provides pictures in real time and allows the physician to see body parts in motion.
What are the Benefits?
- Safe: Ultrasound does not expose the athlete to radiation.
- Portable: It can go anywhere the physician can go! Ultrasound can be transported from room to room— or even to the sidelines— to help better evaluate patients.
- Convenient: Ultrasound is an extension of the physical exam. It can be used as a point-of-care tool on the same day as your scheduled Sports Medicine visit.
- Dynamic: It can be used to assess muscle, tendons or ligaments during motion or under stress. If a patient pinpoints their pain to one area, the ultrasound can be used to look at that spot for the exact cause – such as a broken bone, torn ligament or stretched tendon.
- Interactive: Patients are able to watch the ultrasound machine screen as the physician is performing their evaluation and can ask questions during the procedure, learning more about their body and injury. And because ultrasound is a point of care test, same day evaluations can eliminate wait times and need to schedule additional appointments. This ultimately leads to faster evaluation, treatment and, importantly, the athlete’s return to their sport!
Request an Appointment
Ultrasound is currently available at the following Sports Medicine locations:
To request an appointment:
- Families: Please call (614) 355-6000 to request Sports Medicine ultrasound services.
- Providers: Please refer a patient online or call (614) 722-6200.