About

I believe in a kind of imaging more functionally oriented than descriptive. As a dedicated musculoskeletal radiologist I can use all of the modalities capable of making the best diagnosis, but I think that a dynamic ultrasound examination is crucial in some conditions. Try to think about a rubber band; if you take a picture of it in a static condition it might seem to be perfect, but what happens if you stretch it? The same thing happens with muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. I always believe that ultrasound imaging is also dynamic for the operator itself, he must be there, here and now, never stop thinking about it. It is a sort of “mindfullness exercise”. This might make the difference in searching  “the sweet spot”
sweet def.002

in diagnostic imaging, that means finding the right way to make the right diagnosis. The patient is at the center of everything and all of the imaging modalities around. That is why I suggest to “pure sonographers” to have two good travelmates in this sort of journey: a good radiologist and a good clinician (orthopaedics, phyisiathrics, sport-medicine physician). During my teaching courses around the world, students often ask me what is needed to start ultrasound practice. I always answer in the same way: anatomy, anatomy, and again anatomy, in all of its modalities; essential, surgical, ultrasound, mri, xray, ct anatomy. I also always suggest to non-radiologists sonographers, to study a good Mri anatomy atlas; it contains the same scans of ultrasound imaging, but with better spatial definition. Firstly knowing the limits of ultrasound imaging, is another crucial point. I am not talking about the overestimated “operator dependence” problem; does any kind of activity not potentially influenced by the operator exists? Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” said:”“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not to fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” At the same time knowing both the limits of ultrasound and the characteristics of all the pathologies we want to discriminate, can make the difference in making the correct diagnosis.  Studying ultrasound imaging might act as the perfect stimulus to begin a journey in the beautiful musculoskeletal diagnostic imaging world. But pay attention, because neither a course nor  congress or a book may teach you what you need to make the perfect diagnosis, if you miss the basic ingredients: the desire of knowing, passion for learning and for your job. Ask to yourself why you are interested in ultrasound imaging. Using again a quote from a famous past film I want to remind you: ” Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, get squashed just like a grape. Here, ultrasound, same thing. Either learning ultrasound imaging, or not learning ultrasound imaging, is safe. If you learn ultrasound imaging “so and so”, you will get squashed just like a grape”. Understood?

 

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Recent Posts

A Thermographic Evaluation of Patellar​ Tendon Partial Tear

about the thermographic evaluation of patellar tendon degeneration

“Many pathological processes in humans manifest themselves as local changes in heat production and also as changes in blood flow pattern at affected organs or tissues”. Vainer BG. FPA-based infrared thermography as applied to the study of cutaneous perspiration and stimulated a vascular response in humans. Phys Med Biol. 2005 Dec 7;50(23): R63–94. 

Since I met the human thermography I always use this kind of evaluation for diagnosis and monitoring of musculoskeletal diseases, together with all the other imaging modalities.

Today I show you the case of a young athlete practicing long jump, with a chronic patellar tendon tendinopathy and partial tear at its proximal attachment.

I always start with clinical examination and thermographic study.

termography-knee

Thermographic study of the painful right knee

termography knee normal

The thermographic evaluation of the healthy left knee shows a difference of 1,5°C less than the right one

Mri Patellar tendon Tendinopathy

Sagittal T1w – Fusion – Stir Mri of the same patient (0.3 Tesla)

I perform the MRI examination to have also the clear depiction of the cortical patellar bone; as you probably know in many similar cases a bone marrow edema is associated at the inferior pole of the patella.

The study is completed with the dynamic ultrasound exam, both in supine and orthostatic position.

The elastosonography evaluation shows less adaptive changes during the dynamic study, as is usually seen in these pathologic conditions.

I believe in integrated imaging study for musculoskeletal pathologies; thermal cameras are user-friendly for anyone is involved in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of these kinds of pathological conditions.

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