Image by Tachina Lee

FAQ

Commonly Asked Questions

WHO WILL BE PERFORMING THE SCAN?

Kyle Foster - Owner and Head Practitioner at 'Inner-Vision Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Scans'. Fully qualified Musculoskeletal Sonographer, active member of the Society and College of Radiographers (membership number - 66879) and Regulated by the Health and Professions Council (HCPC) (membership number - RA56373)

Click here to check Kyle's registration with the HCPC (Choose Radiographer as profession) 

HOW LONG WILL THE EXAMINATION TAKE?

- The initial consultation/correlation of clinical findings should only be brief (approximately 5 minutes)

- Typically, depending on the presenting symptoms and complexity of the joint/structure being assessed, the actual scanning time may be between 20 - 30 minutes. 

- Assimilation of the comprehensive report may require between 5 - 15 minutes depending on the scan findings. The practitioner is likely to invite you to take a seat back in the waiting room whilst the report is compiled to allow maximum concentration.

Currently therefore allotted scan slots are 1 hour to allow 15 minutes extra for cleaning, accommodating mobility issues and most of all ensuring you feel comfortable and have the time to ask any questions. 

N.B. Lumps/Bumps scans are likely to require much less scanning time, approximately 5 - 10 minutes and a reporting time of 5 - 10 minutes. Therefore the scan slots are 30 minutes duration to reflect this.

CAN I VIDEO THE EXAMINATION?

It is not considered appropriate practice from the society and college of radiographers (SCoR) for any diagnostic medical imaging examination to be filmed and therefore in order for Inner-vision to not breach the code of conduct outlined by the SCoR, filming will not be permitted. 

Images of the examination however can be made available upon request.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SCAN?

At the time of writing, ultrasound is considered to be a safe form of medical imaging with no proof of harm over the decades that ultrasound has been used in the field of medicine. 

Any risks of heating or mechanical effects (Cavitation) theorised through prolonged high powered ultrasound exposure are purely hypothetical and not realistically applicable in practice. Medical ultrasound exposure power is regulated by machine manufacturers and practitioners work in line with guidelines from the British Medical Ultrasound Society on the 'safe use of ultrasound' with exposure to ultrasound limited under the ALARA principle (AS LOW AS REASONABLY POSSIBLE) with exposure times well short of recommended maximum exposure duration.

A little pressure is required to obtain a diagnostic image in musculoskeletal ultrasound, however the pressure is light and is almost always well tolerated with no ill effect. If you cannot tolerate any pressure at all on the area to be examined, an alternate imaging modality may be more suitable. Coupling Gel used for ease of passage of ultrasound waves into the body is a non-toxic water based medium**.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DISCOVER ABNORMAL FINDINGS?

All abnormal findings will be explained in detail and documented in the formalised report.

Recommendations regarding onward pathways (Such as GP or Physiotherapist) may be given however it is outside of the scope of practice of Inner-Vision Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Scans to provide advice or recommendations as to treatments and interventions. 

Any findings which require urgent attention or further investigation will be urgently forwarded to the patients GP with the consent (Obtained prior to scanning) of the patient. 
Images of the examination however can be made available upon request.

CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME TO THE SCAN?

- The initial consultation/correlation of clinical findings should only be brief (approximately 5 minutes)

- Typically, depending on the presenting symptoms and complexity of the joint/structure being assessed, the actual scanning time may be between 20 - 30 minutes. 

- Assimilation of the comprehensive report may require between 5 - 15 minutes depending on the scan findings. The practitioner is likely to invite you to take a seat back in the waiting room whilst the report is compiled to allow maximum concentration.

Currently therefore allotted scan slots are 1 hour to allow 15 minutes extra for cleaning, accommodating mobility issues and most of all ensuring you feel comfortable and have the time to ask any questions. 

N.B. Lumps/Bumps scans are likely to require much less scanning time, approximately 5 - 10 minutes and a reporting time of 5 - 10 minutes. Therefore the scan slots are 30 minutes duration to reflect this.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A PRIVATE MUSCULOSKELETAL SCAN?

- The main advantage of choosing to have a private scan is that you can typically get an appointment much earlier. 

This is particularly likely in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic where non urgent referrals are currently put on hold to reduce foot fall through the hospitals. 

- Time constraints in the medical field typically mean that scans are more targeted in their approach to encompass only the areas of suspected pathology. Inner-Vision have the luxury of longer scan slots and are therefore able to provide a more holistic approach so that a comprehensive report can be compiled. 

- The reports provided by Inner-vision are unique. Again because of the duration of the booking slots, the depth of the information provided is vast and presented in both qualitative and quantitative forms, even allowing for pictorial representation.


- You know your practitioner with inner-vision, you can be assured that they are qualified in musculoskeletal ultrasound and regulated by their respective governing body.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE SCAN?

You will be invited to sit/lie onto the ultrasound couch/bed whilst the ultrasound practitioner runs through the pre examination pro-forma to confirm presenting symptoms and medical history. 
The area to be examined then needs to be free from any obstructions (such as jewellery or clothing) and therefore you may be asked to get changed wherever needed/appropriate.
Cold, Non toxic, hypoallergenic ultrasound gel will then be applied to the area being scanned and light to moderate pressure will be applied from the ultrasound probe. This should not be painful but any discomfort should be relayed to the practitioner. 
Often, the joint or structure being scanned will need to be moved several times to assess in different planes or under motion.
The practitioner will talk you through the scan, occasionally there may be periods of silence but don't be alarmed, sometimes more concentration is needed to acquire the correct views of the structure.
Once the examination is finished, you will have ample time to ask questions.
There will be no lasting effects from the gel or procedure.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF MUSCULOSKELETAL ULTRASOUND?

Ultrasound has difficulty in penetrating highly reflective surfaces such as bone or metal (such as in prosthesis) and therefore little information can be gained from these structures such as the internal architecture of a bone. 

With this in mind, it is difficult and often not possible to see pathology or anatomy within a joint with any certainty, such as the cruciate ligaments of the knee or labrum of the shoulder joint in its entirety.

The field of view of an ultrasound scan is much smaller than other modalities and therefore it can sometimes be hard to see the entirety of the structure in one view and relies on the abilities of the practitioner to appreciate the bigger picture.