Tendon and nerve sonography

Radiol Clin North Am. 1999 Jul;37(4):691-711, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0033-8389(05)70124-x.


The refinement of high frequency transducers has improved the ability of ultrasound (US) to detect fine textural abnormalities of tendons and nerves and to identify a variety of pathologic conditions. Characteristic echotextural patterns, closely resembling the histologic ones, are typically depicted in these structures using high US frequencies. In tendon imaging, US can identify tendon dislocations, degenerative changes, differentiate partial from complete tears and determine whether the patient has to be treated surgically or conservatively. A spectrum of findings in inflammatory conditions, including paratendonitis and tenosynovitis, and tendon tumors also can be detected. In nerve imaging, US can support clinical and electrophysiologic testing for detection of compressing lesions caused by nerve entrapment in a variety of osteofibrous tunnels of the limbs and extremities. Nerve tears and tumors also can be diagnosed. Overall, US is an effective technique for imaging tendons and nerves.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Peripheral Nerves / diagnostic imaging*
  • Peripheral Nerves / pathology
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendons / pathology
  • Ultrasonography