Ultrasonography of the Lower Extremity
Diagnostic ultrasound has been used to study numerous organs within the abdomen. With ongoing technological innovations, however, other areas of the body are now scrutinized by the pulse of the piezoelectric crystal. Some of the more unusual areas now studied by ultrasound include the thyroid, parathyroid, carotid artery, chest wall, pleural space, and upper and lower extremities. Until recently, they had received little attention, although many are extremely amenable to ultrasonic examination. The lower extremity, for example, is well situated anatomically for such evaluation. Since the osseous structures are centrally located, they do not obstruct visualization of the soft tissues by ultrasound. The surrounding muscles and vessels can be examined quite easily by the application of oil to the skin. Furthermore, the lower extremity does not contain air and its centrally situated osseous structures can be avoided by circumferential or longitudinal scanning. Numerous pathological entities such as popliteal cysts, thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, popliteal artery aneurysm, hematoma, abscesses, and soft-tissue tumors can be identified by ultrasound.
KeywordsArthritis Lymphoma Attenuation Heparin Sarcoma
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