Journal:Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):14, 25, 3, 531-543
Article examines the nature of musculoskeletal injuries and pain syndromes affecting the upper extremities in people with spinal cord injury (SC) and discusses how these complaints are being evaluated using ultrasound. Upper-extremity pain is common in patients with SCI and can cause significant morbidity. Most structures involved are tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Ultrasound is a cheap, accurate, and accessible modality to complement the physical examination in these patients. Although current studies have focused on characterizing the changes in patients with SCI with exercise, or comparison of changes with able-bodied control groups, ultrasound has the potential to do so much more. There is significant evidence that this modality can recognize the major pathologic processes in the SCI population, but most studies have not included this population. In addition, newer ultrasound modalities, including elastography ultrasound, might be more sensitive in identifying early changes in tendons and nerves, and may lead to early intervention, thus preventing significant morbidity.