At Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine (PICSM) in Helena, Montana, we understand that you lead a busy life. That’s why we conveniently provide a variety of services within our office so you don’t have to go anywhere else.
From on-site diagnostics such as X-ray and musculoskeletal ultrasound, to nerve injections and regenerative medicine procedures, PICSM offers the finest in comprehensive musculoskeletal and sports medicine care. Call our office at (406) 422-5817 to make an appointment or use our online appointment request form.
PICSM uses state-of-the-art digital X-ray equipment that provides the highest quality imaging. Not only does it produce a better quality image than traditional film X-rays, but it also reduces the impact on the environment.
There are a number of benefits of digital X-rays over traditional film X-rays, including:
- Digital images can be computer-enhanced. Larger, clearer, color-enhanced images can result in a more accurate diagnosis and may eliminate the need for a CT or MRI scan.
- More recent X-rays can be digitally compared to previous X-rays. By subtracting out everything that is the same and providing a clear image of anything that is different, tiny changes that may not be visible to the naked eye can be caught earlier.
- You are exposed to much less radiation (up to 90% less) than traditional X-rays.
- Digital radiography is also better for the environment. It doesn’t use photo chemicals and traditional film, thus eliminating waste.
Dr. Steele and Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine are proud to offer the highest standard in musculoskeletal ultrasound evaluation and treatment. Dr. Steele is known regionally as a leader in this field and serves as faculty for numerous training courses.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound is an excellent tool for diagnosing painful muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint injuries that can happen at sport, work, or play. Many times, a patient’s pain seems to have no clear cause, but diagnostic ultrasound allows us an in-depth look at injuries, detecting tiny tears that an MRI might miss.
MSK ultrasound is a safe imaging technique that has specific advantages over MRI, CT, and X-ray:
- High-frequency transducers produce images with higher resolution than MRI for some musculoskeletal structures.
- MSK ultrasound uses real-time motion of these tissues to see functionally how these structures are injured. While we perform an ultrasound, you can point to where you’re hurting, and we can immediately get a look at that exact area as you’re moving and experiencing the pain.
- MSK ultrasound typically costs 4 to 5 times less than MRI.
- MSK ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation like X-ray and computed tomography (CT), so it is safe for people with pacemakers, spinal cord stimulators, and other medical devices that cannot undergo diagnostic studies with radiation.
MRI is a static study with no dynamic component, allowing many injuries to go undiagnosed. By moving the injured tissue while using diagnostic ultrasound, the defect or tear can be visualized. The providers at PICSM feel strongly that functional ultrasound, in most injuries, is the study technique of choice for making the correct diagnosis.
If our providers feel you need an MRI or CT scan, we will refer you to a diagnostic facility that provides these services.
At Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine, our doctors also using ultrasound to administer medications to painful joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Ultrasound guidance can help deliver targeted treatment directly to the site of pain, improving the precision, safety, and effectiveness of the injection procedure.
Many studies have shown that the accuracy of joint injections by physicians, even skilled orthopedic surgeons, is not what you would think. Recent studies have compared ultrasound-guided injections versus experienced surgeons using standard injection techniques, and the results indicate that the targeted tissue is often not injected. In addition, unguided injections are more difficult to administer with precision in overweight or obese patients and those with arthritis.
Although an injection without imaging is less expensive, it may not be cost effective. That is, if you receive an injection that only partially reaches its target area or – worse yet – misses it altogether, you will not achieve the pain relief you were expecting.
If you are considering joint replacement but want to try viscosupplementation first (a joint-lubricating injection like Hyalgan® or Synvisc-One®), consider having it done under ultrasound guidance to ensure the medicine is getting into the right place. That way, if the injection doesn’t help you, you’ll have the confidence to move forward with surgery knowing that the injection was placed correctly.
By Phillip Steele, MD RMSK CAQ Sports Medicine Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine Lubricin is a naturally occurring substance found in our joints as part of the synovial fluid. This viscous substance helps to cushion and lubricate our joints. Lubricin appears to be crucial in allowing the articular surfaces of the joint to glide […]