Soft Tissue Injuries
Injuries to the soft tissues of the body are probably the most frequent cause of musculoskeletal dysfunction. With the recent development and implementation of MRI, it is now possible to evaluate noninvasively all the soft tissue structures in the body (eg, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage) that may be responsible for a patient’s symptoms. Ultrasonography is also used to assess soft tissue disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The major advantage of US is its availability, safety, and lower cost compared with MRI. It is waves; thus osseous structures or soft tissues shielded by osseous tissue cannot be evaluated. Compared with the other imaging modalities the efficacy of US is heavily dependent on the operator of the equipment, but this should not preclude its use in appropriate clinical situations. Considering its cost and availability, the role of US may grow as staff in more centers become proficient in its application. This is already true in many European countrieswhere US is heavily used in the evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders. The following sections present the role of radiologic imaging in the assessment of patients with musculoskeletal injuries.