Many people have never heard of Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound. After all, it’s not exactly a household word. However, it should be as commonly known as an MRI since MSK ultrasound is a viable option for MRIs.

As we’ve said above, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound uses sound waves to see into the body in order to help doctors diagnose all kinds of conditions, including sprains and tears, in muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues. This noninvasive procedure is completely safe and exposes you to no harmful radiation like MRIs do.

How Does Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Work?

Also known as sonography, MSK Ultrasound works very similar to other types of ultrasound you may have experienced, most notably for pregnant women to see their baby. Basically, a small probe along with a gel formula is used directly on the skin. The probe produces the soundwaves, which are then collected as they bounce back and put into images by a computer. MSK ultrasound shows real-time movements, meaning they are not images or pictures like an MRI produces. Hence, doctors can gain more insight by seeing moving images than static images when diagnosing problems.


  • Muscle sprains or tears
  • Tendon strains or tears
  • Ligament strains or tears
  • Tendonitis
  • Inflammation of joints
  • Fluid accumulation in joints
  • Pinched nerves
  • Tumor diagnosis, both benign and malignant
  • Hernias
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Dislocations
  • Soft tissue masses
  • Suspected foreign bodies in soft tissue
  • And so much more!

A Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is simple to undergo. You may need to change into a gown, depending on what area you are having the procedure, or you may just need to wear loose clothing that you can pull up to expose the area you are treating.


The Center for Musculoskeletal Ultrasound offers MSK Ultrasound Imaging to those in the Beverly Hills and Westlake Village area. Contact us today to answer any questions you may have and to make an appointment.


  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects to humans.

What are the limitations of Ultrasound imaging of the Musculoskeletal System?

Ultrasound has difficulty penetrating bone and therefore can only see the outer surface of bony structures and not what lies within. For visualizing bone or internal structure of certain joints, waves do not reflect clearly from bone or air. For visualization of bone, other imaging modalities, such as MRI, should be selected.