Ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive imaging modality that is used to collect information related to the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.   Dr Hackel was the first sports medicine physician in the region to utilize musculoskeletal ultrasound to assist in making a diagnosis and guide treatments to various pathologies.  He teaches other physicians nationally and internationally how to utilize musculoskeletal ultrasound in their practices. Dr Hackel hosts an annual musculoskeletal ultrasound course where physicians from all over the world gather at the Andrews Institute to learn how to use ultrasound in their practices.

The same sonar principles that submarines, ships, bats and dolphins use for location purposes (e.g., echolocation) are used to make ultrasound imaging possible. Consider that, when a sound wave hits an object, it echoes (bounces back). Measuring these echoes provides information as to how far away an object is, as well as its shape, size and consistency (i.e., fluid-filled or solid). In the world of medicine, these sound waves can be used to detect changes in the contour, size and/or appearance of organs, vessels and tissues as well as to detect abnormal masses (i.e., tumors).

Using the images collected during a musculoskeletal ultrasound, Dr. Joshua G. Hackel can diagnose injuries and use the ultrasound to guide treatment for strains, sprains, tears, and other conditions that affect the soft tissues of the body.

What is it?

Ultrasound imaging is also referred to as sonography or ultrasound scanning. Prior to starting the ultrasound procedure, ultrasound gel is applied to the skin of the area being examined. For example, if Dr. Hackel suspects damage to the soft tissues surrounding the ankle, the ultrasound gel will be applied to this area and spread around with a probe (small transducer). The gel serves as a conductor for the high-frequency sound waves that will be transmitted into the body by the transducer as well as for the echoes that will be sent back to it.   As the transducer is moved around the area being examined, it sends sound waves into the body and then receives the echoes as they return. As the sound waves bounce back to the transducer, a computer uses them to generate an image. The images obtained during an ultrasound scan show the structures of the extremities allowing for a quick inexpensive and painless diagnosis to be made at the initial patient’s office visit. Many times the need for an expensive MRI is no longer necessary to identify the patient’s problem.

Who is it for?

A musculoskeletal ultrasound can be used to help diagnose a variety of conditions and injuries, including:

  • ligament tears or sprains;
  • degenerative changes related to arthritis;
  • tendinitis of the Achilles tendon (ankle) and the rotator cuff (shoulder) as well as other tendons;
  • a collection of fluid, masses and/or tears in the muscles;
  • effusions or inflammation within the joints;
  • tears in tendons;
  • fluid collection or swelling within the bursae;
  • cartilage injuries and disorders of the knee, shoulder, and hip;
  • ganglion cysts (a noncancerous, fluid-filled sac beneath the skin of the wrist or hand);
  • nerve entrapments (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, etc.);
  • cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) soft tissue tumors; as well as
  • foreign bodies trapped in soft tissues (e.g., glass, splinters, etc.).

Want to learn more?

Due to its ability to provide fast, inexpensive and accurate results, the musculoskeletal ultrasound has become the imaging test of choice for physicians treating high-performance athletes and nonathletes. Having the ability to quickly and easily determine the severity, and the progression of an injury makes the musculoskeletal ultrasound essential for determining when an athlete can resume play or if an individual can return to everyday activities.  There are relatively no contraindications to using ultrasound unlike a X-Ray CT scan which emits ionizing radiation. The ultrasound emits no radiation therefore is a safe diagnostic and therapeutic tool in Dr Hackel’s office.

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Pain is a symptom that should never be ignored or ‘lived with.’ Many times, finding and treating the source of the pain can prevent further damage. Dr. Joshua G. Hackel has been providing non-surgical, pain management services to professional athletes, semi-professional athletes, student-athletes and individuals for years.

Dr. Hackel and the dedicated, caring staff at the Andrews Institute use their experience to diagnose the reason you are in pain. Dr. Joshua G. Hackel specializes in the use of MSUS for the diagnosis of orthopaedic injuries, he will use his skills to determine what is causing your pain and, once an accurate diagnosis is attained, Dr. Hackel will design a personalized treatment plan for you.

If you are experiencing a lingering or unexplained pain, seeking treatment is essential to your recovery. When you choose Dr. Hackel to help you as you move through the recovery process, he will design a program to relieve your symptoms and non-surgically address any physical limitations you are experiencing. Schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Joshua G. Hackel by calling the Andrews Institute at 850-916-8783 today. The Institute is located at 1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Suite 200, in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Let us know how we can help you feel your best.