WHAT IS A FOREARM ULTRASOUND?
The Forearm Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and bursae within and around the forearm. Diagnostic ultrasound is particularly useful for patients to regularly monitor any changes within the joints. An ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of information that a diagnostic forearm ultrasound can provide:
- Repetitive stress injury
- Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
- Golfer’s elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
- Compartment Syndrome
- Glycogen storage disease type V (McArdle disease)
- Volkmann’s contracture
If you have any signs or symptoms of pain in the forearm region, such as discomfort or swelling, and want to get a diagnostic forearm ultrasound, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for this exam.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A FOREARM ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
There are no specific preparations necessary for the forearm ultrasound but your doctor may provide you with specific instructions. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the forearm, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves; however, should you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know before the examination. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns with preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A FOREARM ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head, and gently move it along the forearm with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. The technician may ask you to move your forearm into specific positions in order to capture all necessary images. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment is approximately 15 minutes long for one forearm and 30 minutes for both.
Shortly after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.