NEW YORK (KFSN) --Ultrasound is not just for babies anymore. For years, this imaging method that relies on soundwaves has been associated with obstetrics. But now, specially-designed tools are allowing doctors to find and treat muscle and joint injuries that in the past might have been overlooked.
Leilani Straw planned to spend her retirement years exploring New York, until she developed a large bump on the side of her knee.
"It was clear that this thing there and this tingly feeling was not right," Straw told Ivanhoe.
Musculoskeletal radiologist Carlos Benitez, MD, at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York discovered a fluid-filled cyst just below Leilani's knee. He needed to insert a needle to drain the cyst which was critically close to a nerve.
Using a lap-top sized ultrasound machine called LOGIQ e Dr. Benitez was able to visualize the cyst in real-time.
Dr. Benitez told Ivanhoe, "I knew exactly where to place the needle. I knew exactly where I was injecting it in relation to the position of the nerve."
Orthopedic specialists can also use the ultrasound to better diagnose muscle and tendon injuries with a specially-designed attachment called a transducer.
The transducer can also help doctors identify problems with joint movement, impossible with an MRI, which relies on static pictures.
"It can help us treat many more conditions without referring to more expensive imaging modalities," Dr. Benitez said.
For Leilani, the ultrasound-guided procedure meant she could get back on her feet- a tremendous relief!
Straw told Ivanhoe, "Anything that might limit my ability to walk is pretty crucial."
The LOGIQ e ultrasound is also designed to be portable. Dr. Benitez says it can be transported to sporting events Submitwhere the quick diagnosis of an athlete's injury could be critical. For example, Dr. Benitez and a team of radiologists were courtside with the equipment recently at the U.S. Open in New York.