Diagnostic Ultrasound or Sonography uses high frequency sound waves to create non invasive grey scale images of body structures. Here at the SMART Referral Centre we are one of the few centres in the country that utilises this technology to diagnose injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
Our 17MHz linear probe is specifically adapted to provide high definition images not only of muscles, tendons and ligaments but also of the myofascial structures which are often no more than 0.5mm in thickness. It is one of the few imaging tools that allows us to examine tissues functionally and we can assess how muscles and tendons behave in real time as they are loaded and unloaded, compressed and extended.
It also allows us to monitor tissue healing and refine our treatment protocols accordingly.
Musculoskeletal Structures we can image include
Bicecps and Achilles tendons
Shoulder and stifle joint
Individual muscles and their attachments
Medical thermography or infra red thermal imaging is one of the very few diagnostic tools that allows us to assess the body’s physiological function through measuring skin temperature.
An injury is often accompanied by variations in blood flow and these in turn can affect the skin temperature. Inflammation leads to hyperthermia (hot areas), whereas degeneration, reduced muscular activity, poor perfusion and abnormal neural activity may cause a hypothermic (cold) patterns.
Thermal imaging can function as an useful adjunct to diagnosis and treatment in acute and chronic pain cases. It can also be used as a monitoring tool to assess the effectiveness of treatment protocols designed to restore blood flow and improve neurological function. It can also be combined with treadmill exercise to assess changes in blood flow within individual muscle groups in the exercising patient.
Thermal imaging technology is very sensitive, detecting very small variations in surface temperature and as such can be open to misinterpretation. For this reason, strict conditions of practice are required to achieve diagnostic and repeatable images.
Our Gait 4 Gait Analysis System allows us to collect objective data to quantify an individual’s gait pattern by walking the patient on a sensor laden walkway. Data gathered provides data regarding limb loading, stance time and step and stride length. Repeated analysis allows us to objectively measure an individual’s progress in response to treatment.
The clinic is also working with I Measure U which currently provides a software platform to measure and maximise human performance. This should allow us to quantify canine body movement and workload metrics in the field.