Knee Pain – Ultrasound Imaging

We see lots of patients with knee pain. When the cause is due to soft tissue damage or problems, tissue changes can often be seen clearly with ultrasound scanning. However, nothing ever replaces the standard, detailed physical examination- we only use the scan to confirm our assessment findings, but it’s often fascinating to be able to ‘see’ the tissues involved.
Healing and resolution can also be monitored using follow up scans.
The images below show marked thickening and increased darkness (hypo-echoic signal) in a kneecap tendon – Patella Tendinopathy.
Whilst the patient reported improvement in his symptoms of pain and reduced function with a course of treatment (stretching, and muscle re-strengthening), repeated scans later showed very little change in the size of the tendon. He was intrigued by the early scan result, but very reassured to see the tendon was intact.

Patellar tendon scan

David is not a qualified sonographer. However like many physiotherapists in musculo-skeletal practice, he has received basic training in the use of ultrasound imaging equipment and uses it to confirm his assessment findings and measure progress in recovery from certain injuries.