Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Scan FAQs

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, ultrasound exams do need an appointment. If you cannot attend your appointment we appreciate if you can give 24 hours notice.

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?

No, you do not need a referral letter for a medical scan. If you come in without a referral letter the report will be emailed to you and you may pass it on to your GP. We do not send reports to a GP if they have not ordered it. If there are urgent findings we will help you arrange a doctor’s visit where you can take the report with you as you may need a referral to a consultant.

What is the preparation for a musculoskeletal scan?

There is no preparation for this exam however wearing loose-fitting clothing or a garment that can be easily removed is preferred.

What organs are viewed in the musculoskeletal scan?

Depending on the area of concern there are different muscles, tendons or joints that can be evaluated

What can a musculoskeletal ultrasound see?

Ultrasound can see ligament, muscle or tendon tears, inflammation or fluid around the bursae or joints, ganglion cysts and soft tissue tumors.

What happens during the scan?

Dependant on the type of musculoskeletal ultrasound, the patient may be asked to sit on a swivel chair or an examination table. For other ultrasound exams, the patient is commonly asked to lie face-up or face-down on an examination table. The sonographer may request the patient move the extremity being scanned or may move it for you to assess the anatomy and function of the tendon, muscle, ligament or joint.

How long will the exam take?

The scheduled time for this exam is usually 30 minutes.

Who will report my exam?

After the sonographer has completed your exam the images will be sent to a consultant radiologist who will report your scan.

When will I receive my results?

You will get verbal results from the sonographer at the end of the examination however it is up to the radiologist to make a final report. The formal report will be sent to your GP by post which may take up to 5 days. If you are self-referred it may also take up to 5 days for you to receive the formal report by email. If there are urgent findings the process will be expedited and faxed to your GP within 24 hours.