Sonographic imaging of hand and wrist injuries: applications in the ER setting

Emerg Radiol. 2019 Apr;26(2):227-240. doi: 10.1007/s10140-018-1649-0. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


Acute osseous and soft tissue injuries to the hand and wrist are a common cause for ER visitation. Though diagnostic assessment has historically remained the province of conventional radiography, CT and MRI, sonography is gaining increasing acceptance and utilization. Offering multiple inherent advantages as an imaging modality, ultrasonic assessment has proven its utility in the evaluation of ligamentous and tendinous carpal and digital injuries as well as infection and inflammation. In this review, we will initially discuss sonographic technique and relevant normal anatomical features. Illustrative examples of soft tissue and osseous injuries of the hand and wrist as well as complicated infections most likely to be encountered in the emergency setting will then be presented together with a discussion of their relevant clinical considerations and management.

Keywords: Hand; Ligament; Tendon; Trauma; Ultrasound; Wrist.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Hand Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Wrist Injuries / diagnostic imaging*