Rheumatologist Says Ultrasound Is A Fast, Non-Invasive Way To Diagnosis Joint Pain

PERTH AMBOY–There are more than 100 types of arthritis causing pain and swelling for many people, especially as they age. The key to effective treatment for sufferers is an accurate diagnosis.

Board certified rheumatologist Janak R. Goyal, MD, RDMS, FACR, on staff at the Human Motion Institute at Raritan Bay Medical Center says, “Ultrasound is now being used as a new tool for diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders.” Rheumatologists like Dr. Goyal specialize in diagnosis and management of joint and muscle diseases.

“Ultrasound can quickly and accurately diagnose disorders such as arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis,” says Dr. Goyal, who is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “These disorders can develop at any age, without any cause, or may develop due to work-related injuries or trauma.”

“MRI is currently the most common imaging technology used in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases. It provides a snapshot image of the moment,” says Dr. Goyal, “however, a picture doesn’t always tell us the whole story.”

“High frequency ultrasound provides better resolution than MRI,” says Dr. Goyal. “MRI cannot pick up superficial layers, small nerve injuries and anatomical structures hidden by surrounding scars and metallic hardware.” Ultrasound also allows physicians to see the internal architecture of the nerve. “An MRI can show if the nerve is entrapped or enlarged, but it will not give an assessment of the internal structure which can tell physicians if the nerve is damaged beyond repair.”

“Ultrasound also provides an edge over MRI for real time dynamic imaging of joint inflammation,” says Dr. Goyal, “we can see exactly what is going on.” Ultrasound is easily performed in a physician’s office, without the risk of exposure to radiation. It is also used following diagnosis to provide guidance for therapeutic procedures such as needle aspiration and injection. For patients who cannot tolerate an MRI because of claustrophobia or pacemakers, Ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic option.

“Evaluating and diagnosing joint pain may be a very involved process,” says Dr. Goyal, “but now Ultrasound technology is giving us a new edge to both understanding a patient’s condition and improving their quality of life through proper care and management.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Goyal or any Human Motion Institute physician, call 1-855-5-MOTION.

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