Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Ultrasonography: bone / joints

Contributor(s): Roberta Baxter, Sue Dyson, Chris Whitton

Introduction

  • As an aid to the investigation of some types of musculoskeletal disease. It allows examination of the surfaces of the bones, as well as the associated synovial structures and ligaments.
  • Although bone normally produces an 'acoustic shadow' during ultrasonography, information about soft tissue attachments, periosteal changes and cortical discontinuities can be obtained.
  • Most successful for stifle, hock and MCP + MTP joints.

Uses

Advantages

  • Non-invasive.
  • Painless.
  • Portable.
  • Cheap.
  • Useful for identifying:
    • Joint effusion.
    • Synovial hypertrophy.
    • Articular cartilage defects.
    • Joint chip fractures.
    • Soft tissue structure defects, eg desmitis.

Disadvantages

  • Only the surfaces of boney structures can be examined due to the lack of penetration of bone by sound.
  • Bony prominences and curved contours prevent most useful positioning of transducer   →    not all areas can be visualized.
  • A number of transucers may be required for some joints to allow successful evaluation.
  • Attainable information is limited   →    ultrasonography is not a substitute for radiography.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barrett M F, Frisbie D D, McIlwraith C W & Werpy N M (2012) The arthroscopic and ultrasonographic boundaries of the equine femorotibial joints. Equine Vet J 44 (1), 57-63 PubMed.
  • Dupays A G, Coudry V, & Denoix J-M (2012) Ultrasonographic examination of the dorsal apsect of the distal interphalangeal joint of the horse. Equine Vet Educ 24, (1), 19-29 VetMedResource.
  • Seignour M, Coudry V, Norris R & Denoix J-M (2012) Ultrasonographic examination of the palmar/plantar aspect of the fetlock in the horse: technique and normal images. Equine Vet Educ 24 (1), 19-29 VetMedResource.
  • Powell S (2011) Investigation of pelvic problems in horses. In Pract 33 (10), 518-524 VetMedResource
  • Smith S & Smith R (2008) Diagnostic ultrasound of the limb joints, muscle and bone in horses. In Pract 30 (3), 152-159 VetMedResource.
  • Hoegaerts M et al (2005) Cross-sectional anatomy and comparative ultrasonography of the equine medial femorotibial joint and its related structures. Equine Vet J 37 (6), 520-529 PubMed.
  • McDiarmid A & Jones E (2004) Diagnosis of scapulohumeral joint osteoarthritis in a Shetland pony by ultrasonography. Vet Rec 154 (6), 178-180 PubMed.
  • Redding W R (2001) Use of ultrasonography in the evaluation of joint disease in horses. Part 1 - Indications, technique and examination of the soft tissues. Equine Vet Educ 13 (4), 198-205 VetMedResource.
  • Shepherd M C & Pilsworth R C (1994) The use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of pelvic fractures. Equine Vet Educ 6 (4), 223-227 VetMedResource.
  • Dik K J, Van den Belt A J M & Keg P R (1991) Ultrasonographic evaluation of fetlock annular ligament constriction in the horse. Equine Vet J 23 (4), 285-288 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Smith R K W (2004)Ultrasonography of Joints: How it Enhances Evaluation and Diagnosis of Joint Disease.In:Proc 43rd BEVA Congress. Equine Vet J Ltd, Newmarket. pp 258.
  • Pilsworth R (2004)Ultrasonographic Examination of the Pelvis.In:Proc 43rd BEVA Congress. Equine Vet J Ltd, Newmarket. pp 80.
  • Rantanen N & McKinnon A (1998) EdsEquine Diagnostic Ultrasound.1st edn. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimor. ISBN: 0 683 07123 8.
  • Nyland T G & Mattoon J S (1995)Veterinary Diagnostic Ultrasound.W B Saunders, Philadelphia.


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