Diagnostic Knee Ultrasound

Knee Clinics located in Portland, OR, Bellevue, WA and Tempe, AZ

Diagnostic Knee Ultrasound services offered in Portland, OR, Bellevue, WA and Tempe, AZ

In the United States, 1 in 4 adults is limited by chronic knee pain. If you’re not sure what’s causing your knee pain, do the smart thing and schedule a diagnostic knee ultrasound at Reflex Knee Specialists. The experienced knee experts use advanced ultrasound technology to identify what’s triggering your knee pain and other symptoms, so you can get appropriate treatment. Call the office in Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; or Tempe, Arizona, to schedule a diagnostic knee ultrasound or book an appointment online today.

Diagnostic Knee Ultrasound Q&A

What is a diagnostic knee ultrasound?

A diagnostic knee ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to create images of the soft tissues in your knee joint. The sound waves bounce off the inner structures of your joint and send real-time images of your knee to an external monitor.

Reflex Knee Specialists have dynamic ultrasound testing available on-site to diagnose the underlying cause of knee pain and other symptoms while your knee is in motion.  

They also use advanced ultrasound technology for preventive knee evaluations to identify early cartilage damage in its earliest stages, before you even have symptoms.

Why would I need a diagnostic knee ultrasound?

Joint damage (destabilization and loss of cartilage tissue) can occur for years without any symptoms.  This is called the ‘clinically silent’ phase of joint destruction.  Once knee pain becomes a recurrent annoyance, irreversible damage to the joint has already occurred.  Ultrasound is able to detect damage in its earliest stages when treatments are most effective in preventing the progression of joint damage and dysfunction.

Most athletes who played competitive sports in high school or college will have knee issues that develop years later.  This is why the providers at Reflex Knee Specialists recommend that prior athletes have their knees evaluated with diagnostic ultrasound, even if they only have minimal symptoms.  

 Aging is another risk factor for developing knee problems, so the Reflex Knee Specialists recommend anyone over age 40 – even if they have no symptoms – to get screened by diagnostic ultrasound to see if knee damage is occurring so its progression can be slowed or halted.

Anyone with recurrent knee symptoms should have an evaluation with diagnostic ultrasound since damage to the cartilage is irreversible and, if ignored for too long, may result in the need for knee replacement surgery.    

Knee symptoms that should be evaluated include stiffness when standing after being seated for a prolonged period, pain with activities such as squatting or going up or down stairs, pain or discomfort with sporting activities, swelling, or a reduced range of motion.

Ultrasound testing can identify conditions like:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cartilage damage
  • Meniscal tears
  • Ligament Strain (MCL or LCL)
  • Tendon Strain or Tears
  • Cysts
  • Bursitis

If you start physical therapy or another treatment for an existing knee condition, you may need additional diagnostic knee ultrasounds during follow-up visits to ensure the tissues inside the joint are responding appropriately to treatment.

Your provider at Reflex Knee Specialists may also recommend a diagnostic knee ultrasound if you have risk factors for arthritis or other conditions that break down your knee joint. Preventive ultrasounds help identify issues in the earliest stages when treatment is typically most effective.

How do I prepare for a diagnostic knee ultrasound?

The Reflex Knee Specialists team suggests you wear loose-fitting, comfortable shorts or pants s that easily come up to the mid-thigh area for your appointment.

To start your ultrasound, you will be seated on the exam table or treatment chair. Your provider will apply ultrasound gel to your knee to transmit sound waves from the hand-held transducer into your knee joint. They move the transducer around your knee to check your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage for damage. 

During a dynamic ultrasound, you may also need to move your knee during testing, so your provider can assess your joint function in real time.

After your diagnostic knee ultrasound is complete, your provider will discuss the findings and make recommendations if treatment is needed. You may return to your usual activities without limitations or downtime.

If you are experiencing knee pain, are a prior athlete, or are over 40, do the smart thing and schedule a diagnostic knee ultrasound at Reflex Knee Specialists. Call or book an appointment online today.