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Musculoskeletal Sonography Use in Physiatry: A Single-Center One-Year Analysis

Özçakar, Levent MD; Malas, Fevziye Ünsal MD; Kara, Gamze MD; Kaymak, Bayram MD; Hasçelik, Zafer MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: May 2010 - Volume 89 - Issue 5 - p 385-389
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181d89e63
Original Research Article: Ultrasound

Özçakar L, Malas FÜ, Kara G, Kaymak B, Hasçelik Z: Musculoskeletal sonography use in physiatry: A single-center one-year analysis.

Objective: To document the musculoskeletal ultrasonography experience in a physiatry clinic for 1 yr and to find out whether its use decreased time, cost, and radiation exposure with regard to musculoskeletal imaging.

Design: All patients who underwent musculoskeletal ultrasonography examination (n = 309) in our physiatry department during the whole year of 2007 were enrolled. The same physiatrist, experienced in musculoskeletal ultrasonography, performed all of the evaluations by using 5–10 MHz and 8–16 MHz linear probes (Diasus Dynamic Imaging Ltd., Scotland, UK). At the end of the year, each patient was retrospectively considered on an individual basis, and the answers to the following three questions were recorded in case he/she had not been evaluated by musculoskeletal ultrasonography: (1) How long would the patient have waited (i.e., for further radiologic appointments)? (2) What would the extra cost have been? (3) What would the radiation exposure have been? Cumulative numbers were calculated for the whole year concerning time, cost, and radiation dose.

Results: According to the calculations, the total waiting period was estimated as 7620 days if musculoskeletal ultrasonography had not been used for imaging. Similarly, the total cost and the radiation dose were estimated to be €8128 ($16,256 US) and 20 Sievert (2000 cGy), respectively.

Conclusions: Musculoskeletal ultrasonography provides a significant amount of gain regarding time and cost in physiatry clinics. We call the attention of physiatrists to this issue and advocate that a standardized international approach to musculoskeletal ultrasonography training and assessment is definitely awaited.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Levent Özçakar, MD, Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Hastaneleri, Zemin Kat FTR AD, Sıhhıye, Ankara, Turkey.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article. The study received “10 Best Oral Presentations Award” in ECPRM, Bruge, 2008.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.