Elbow joint ultrasound is an echographic examination that allows you to visualize the joint cavity, joint capsule, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue structures. It is used in the diagnosis of diseases of the elbow joint and paraarticular tissues: arthritis of rheumatic and non-rheumatic etiology, osteoarthritis, epicondylitis, bursitis, tenodovaginitis, injuries, compression of the ulnar nerve. Scanning is carried out in standard projections: anterior, posterior, lateral and medial. During ultrasound, inflammatory processes, the presence of intra-articular fluid, calcifications of soft tissues, periosteal growths, degenerative-dystrophic changes are detected.
Elbow joint ultrasound is prescribed if there is:
- prolonged pain in the elbow when moving and at rest;
- limitation of arm mobility in the elbow joint;
- swelling in the joint area;
- redness of the skin of the elbow;
- traumatic lesion of the articulation;
- suspected effusion in the joint;
- lesion of articular cartilage.
Some group of patients due to professional activity should periodically undergo preventive elbow joint ultrasound. This is due to the fact that people make constant movements of the same type in the elbow joint during work, which can lead to the development of inflammatory and degenerative processes.
Injury to the lateral ligaments itself is rare, but occurs in combination with other injuries.
A fracture can occur in the condyles of the humerus, the processes of the ulna, in the head of the radius.
Bursitis involves inflammation of the structures of the joint, as well as nearby muscles, tendons and nerve fibers. In this case, a pathological effusion is formed in the bursa. The reasons for its appearance are:
- constant overload of hands;
- injuries to bones, joints or tendons in the elbows;
- inflammation (arthritis, gout);
- the presence of pyogenic microorganisms in the body;
- autoimmune diseases;
- the presence of specific diseases – gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis;
A disease that occurs as a result of physical overloads and overextensions of tendons, characterized by a violation of the normal structure in the periosteum and tendon area and manifested by pain syndrome. The following factors can provoke the development of epicondylitis:
- frequent loads, long workouts, monotonous movements;
- the presence of congenital connective tissue dysplasia in the patient.
Hematoma – damage to blood vessels, hemorrhage into soft tissues.
Hemarthrosis is characterized by uniform joint defiguration, hemorrhage stretches the joint capsule, its contours are smoothed, and it takes the shape of an ellipse or a ball.
With hemarthrosis, unlike subcutaneous and intermuscular hemorrhages, the function is significantly more impaired.
If hemarthrosis of the elbow joint is established, treatment should be carried out only under the supervision of a specialist.
Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons, which is accompanied by a number of changes in the structure and degenerative restructuring of inflamed areas.
The causes of tendon inflammation are associated with its chronic overloads or age-related changes.
Before starting treatment of tendinitis with drugs, experts recommend that patients reduce the load on muscles whose tendons have become inflamed.
Rupture of the biceps tendon of the shoulder occurs during serious physical exertion, such as sports.
The rupture of the tendon of the triceps muscle of the shoulder causes pain in the back of the elbow. When the arm is raised above the head in the elbow joint, there is no extension or occurs only with considerable effort.
Before the procedure, remove all jewelry, especially in the area under study, as well as clothing.
It is not recommended to conduct a study within 5 hours after injections made into the joints that are supposed to be diagnosed.
During the procedure, special attention is paid to:
- The structure of bone surfaces – whether they are smooth or not. The same applies to the contours of cartilage tissue.
- The condition of the projections on the surface of the condyles – both lateral and medial.
- Features of nerves and tendons.
- The thickness of hyaline cartilage and the uniformity of its structure. Normally, its thickness should be no more than 2 mm.
- The presence of fluid in the projection of the ulnar fossa. If an effusion is detected, then we are talking about inflammation of the synovial membrane.
- The presence of fluid under the ulnar process. If it is present, then there is inflammation of the synovial sac. If the disease is started, then the liquid on the screen will be heterogeneous.
- Inflammation of the tendon. If one of the tendons is inflamed, the diagnostic doctor will pay attention to its thickening and reduced echogenicity. With the old nature of the disease, calcifications form in the tendon, and the contours lose clarity.
The data obtained should be discussed with the attending physician, who will not only prescribe treatment, but also determine additional diagnostic measures to clarify the nature of the disease.