Friday, 7 April 2017

All About ... Ultrasound Scanning

Ultrasound scanning is used to look at soft tissue (which x-rays cannot do).  This includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, the heart, abdominal organs, eyes and it is also used to identify pregnancy.  

 Ultrasound showing tendon injury

High frequency sound waves are transmitted via a transducer head and coupling medium to the tissues, to create echo signals.  In a similar way to x-rays it is the density which gives the picture.  Undamaged tissue in tendons and muscles will show as dense grey speckling, in contrast damaged tissue will be black (the tissue is breaking down).   

Another advantage is that  with ultrasound scans movement can be seen!  However, ultrasound does not allow deep structures to be examined. 

Portable digital machines are available now and different probes allow for different types of scanning.    The costs for these scans is not prohibitive and so they are regularly used to help with the prognosis and treatment plans for horses suffering tendon or ligament damage.

Have you seen this week's video 'How's Basil getting on'  on my You Tube channel?  
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Until next time!

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