Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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25.3.6, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: Its Use in Evaluation and Treatment


CONTENT: The unique role of musculoskeletal ultrasound in assessment and rehabilitation programs is the sole topic of this monograph. This information will prepare clinicians in understanding the role this technology plays in patient care. The basics underlying ultrasound as it pertains to physics and image optimization are thoroughly reviewed. Basic scanning and normal regional sonographic anatomy are covered. Clinical indications for musculoskeletal and therapeutic ultrasound interventions in orthopaedic physical therapy, including exercise and biofeedback, are discussed. Ultrasound appearances of common pathologies present in each major anatomical region are highlighted. A succinct review of the use of ultrasound-guided interventions during various procedures such as cortisone injection, platelet rich plasma, prolotherapy, and dry needling is also presented. CASE ANALYSES: Two case studies apply the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in physical therapy care. The first case involves a 22-year-old paraplegic skier complaining of right shoulder pain, weakness, and limited active range of motion after suffering a fall while skiing. The second case describes a 25-year-old Olympic modern pentathlon athlete with a past diagnosis of a spondylolytic spondylolisthesis and previous abdominal surgeries who has ongoing low back pelvic pain.


Amber Donaldson, DPT, M Physio (Manip), SCS, CSCS; Dustin Nabhan, DC, DAC, BSP, CSCS

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this monograph, the course participant will be able to:

  1. Understand basic ultrasound physics and image optimization.
  2. Become familiar with basic scanning and normal sonographic anatomy.
  3. Understand and implement clinical indications for musculoskeletal and therapeutic ultrasound interventions in orthopaedic physical therapy, including exercise and biofeedback.
  4. Appropriately use diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound techniques to accurately identify normal and abnormal anatomy.
  5. Be acquainted with ultrasound appearance of common pathology.
  6. Understand current concepts in ultrasound-guided therapies, with both invasive and noninvasive approaches.
Registrant Price (USD):
Printed Copy Only
Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Member $35 $5
Non-Academy Member $50 $5


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