Ultrasonography of the hand, wrist, and elbow

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2010 Aug;21(3):509-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2010.04.003.


High-frequency diagnostic ultrasonography of the hand, wrist and elbow has significant potential to improve the quality of diagnosis and care provided by neuromuscular and musculoskeletal specialists. In patients referred for weakness, pain and numbness of the hand, wrist or elbow, diagnostic ultrasonography can be an adjunct to electrodiagnosis and help in identifying ruptured tendons and treating conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or trigger finger. Use of a small high-frequency (>10-15 MHz) transducer, an instrument with a blunt pointed tip to enhance sonopalpation and a model of the hand, wrist and elbow is advised to enhance visualization of small anatomical structures and complex bony contours. A range of conditions, including tendon and ligament ruptures, trigger finger, de Quervain tenosynovitis, intersection syndrome, lateral epicondylitis, and osteoarthritis, is described along with detailed ultrasonography-guided injection techniques for carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Elbow / diagnostic imaging*
  • Elbow Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tennis Elbow / diagnostic imaging
  • Tenosynovitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wrist / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wrist Joint / diagnostic imaging*