The ultrasound image allows us to picture soft tissues and bone surfaces. Tendons, ligaments, muscle, cartilage, and bone surfaces can all be imaged with ultrasound. These exams are easily done in the field and with the use of different ultrasound probes and frequencys we can image various structures of the pelvis, back, neck, joints and associated soft tissue structures of the front and rear limbs. To describe a soft tissue structure we evaluate the size, shape, echogenicity (whiteness/density of a structure) and fiber pattern in addition to analyzing surrounding soft tissue changes. This structure is then compared to the same structure on the opposite limb which is used a control or normal to determine the possible clinical significance of the ultrasound findings. Ultrasound can also be used to assess bony surfaces and is more sensitive to subtle surface bone change than radiographs and also used to evaluate joint surfaces that cannot be adequately imaged with radiographs.
Not only is ultrasound used for the imaging of soft tissue and bony changes, it is also necessary in the treatment of certain anatomical structures. The use of ultrasound guided injections is an invaluable tool assisting in the correct placement of your needle to insure your treatment is going to be most effective. Ultrasound is also used to follow the healing of an injury and previous images are stored in the machine and are readily available for comparison when doing a recheck exam. As with radiographs ultrasound images can be easily and quickly viewed by other veterinarians for consultations and referral exams via email with links to the case through the Asteris Keystone Imaging System.