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Rheumatology Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program

The Massachusetts General Hospital Rheumatology Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound Program offers diagnosis and treatment for musculoskeletal pain and disorders such as arthritis and gout.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Rheumatology Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program provides diagnostic ultrasound exams and ultrasound-guided procedures to assist with early diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal pain and disorders such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis and gout.

Led by Minna J. Kohler, MD, the Rheumatology Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program is a specialized service within the Rheumatology Unit. Musculoskeletal ultrasound offers non-operative treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions of the shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, hip, knee, and ankle and foot.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: Accuracy and Comfort
Musculoskeletal ultrasound, also known as MSK ultrasound or simply MSKUS, uses sound waves to quickly provide images of bones, joints and tendons at the point-of-care to assist with diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound is fast, non-invasive and radiation-free. Ultrasound-guided injections deliver greater accuracy and less pain than injections guided by touch.

What to Expect
At your first appointment, your physician will conduct a medical history and physical examination. To facilitate rapid diagnosis and treatment, physicians often perform ultrasounds and interpret the results during the same visit. Your physician may perform additional diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound or ultrasound-guided procedures at that time or may schedule subsequent visits.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is often performed to assist with:

  • Injections such as cortisone and viscosupplementation
  • Needle-guidance for aspirations
  • Tendonitis or tendon-tear assessment
  • Early detection of joint inflammation, fluid collections and bony erosions associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis conditions
  • Crystal deposition assessment for conditions such as gout
  • Detection of enthesitis or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments

Educating the Next Generation
The Rheumatology Fellowship Program, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, offers opportunities for physicians, scientists and clinician-educators to study the many aspects and applications of musculoskeletal ultrasound. Learn more about the Rheumatology Fellowship Program

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