The wrist is known as a condyloid joint as it connects the hand to the forearm and allows for all different range of motions except axial rotation. The wrist is made up of 8 small carpal bones and 4 main ligaments. The complexity of this joint allows for a high degree of mobility and stability of the hand, which is needed due to its frequent use through our daily activities. These include; writing, typing, holding objects, playing racquet sports and driving.
The wrist ultrasound will be performed by an experienced sonographer who will apply conductive gel onto the wrist and use an ultrasound probe to visualize some of the structures. The ultrasound will provide a detailed look at the tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves and vessels of the wrist. An ultrasound can be more sensitive at detecting bone erosions than an X-ray, and can show inflammation which can signal symptoms of diseases. Patients with rheumatological disease may be scheduled for frequent ultrasounds in order to monitor any progression or significant changes. This information will allow the doctor to visually see any abnormalities within the structures in order to create the best treatment plan moving forward
When would I need a wrist ultrasound?
If you feel any discomfort, pain, or swelling, an ultrasound can be helpful for detecting any abnormalities or diagnosing illnesses. If you are diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is a good idea to get regular ultrasounds to see if your wrist is affected so that appropriate treatments can be started quickly. If you’ve had a recent fall or significant impact to your hand or wrist, your family physician may send you for an ultrasound to make sure that there are no tears or misplacement of the ligaments. Any abnormalities in the wrist must be looked after quickly, as it can lead to serious outcomes.
What can a wrist ultrasound diagnose?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Wrist inflammation
- Wrist erosions
- De Quervain Tenosynovitis
- Intersection syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Tendon tears
- Scapholunate ligament injury
- Avulsion injuries