Pain during ultrasound on the knee

Anyone else?

15 messages
22/01/2009 at 20:35

Just been for physio on an ongoing problem and mentioned that following a race on Sunday I'd had a really sore right knee.

Physio felt about it....... tendon was inflammed or something so she said she'd give a bit of ultrasound to calm it down.

Anyway, I found this really painful so much so that I flinched my knee out the way. She's suggested a get an x-ray on it to rule out fracture.

Advice anyone?

M...eldy    pirate
22/01/2009 at 20:59
In my limited experience, pain during ultrasound can indicate a stress fracture

or to put another way,  Ultrasound is used to diagnose a stress fracture as an x-ray is unlikely to pick it up
22/01/2009 at 21:01

Umm, she kind of said that

I was hoping it could be something else. Only hurt from Monday & feels loads better now.

Would stress fracture be that acute?

M...eldy    pirate
22/01/2009 at 21:05
quite possibly

again my limited knowledge, ultrasound works on shock waves and its the reverberations of this that can identify a stress fracture where an x-ray perhaps wouldnt

22/01/2009 at 21:14

Funny way round then............... she's suggested I get an x-ray.

Wonder what if that shows nothing?

M...eldy    pirate
22/01/2009 at 21:15
I dont know tbh ....

I spose there is one way to find out,  get up to a&e and see what they say??
22/01/2009 at 21:51

Doesn't sound good, when I had ultra sound on my knee I didn't feel a thing (unlike the deep massage the Physio had gleefully inflicted on me minutes before)

He said that was normal not to feel it doing anything but it was helpful.


23/01/2009 at 06:44


Will get an x-ray booked just to be on the safe side.

23/01/2009 at 09:56

Pain on ultra sound can indicate a fracture - sound makes  one end of the fracture vibrate ergo the pain. The problem with stress fractures is that they may not show up on X-Ray. Ironically Ultrasound can be used to heal fractures! But those machines cost £1000's

If A&E wont X-Ray get the Physio to order an X-Ray from your local private hospital and ask for a report it should not cost more than £80 and you get the results quickly.

A sort of home diagnostic is to use a tuning fork - make it vibrate and place near where you suspect the fracture.If it hurts that means a fracture. This is not 100% accurate but gives an indication.

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2009 at 10:28
a mobile phone on vibrate is also a good alternative if one doesnt have a tuning fork to hand 
23/01/2009 at 11:10
You mean you don't have a handy tuning fork!
23/01/2009 at 14:22


If you think you have a fracture should you be running on Saturday????

23/01/2009 at 14:50

Mitten, after approx what length of time did the ultrasound hurt your knee? (hope physio didn't continue with it?

You can heal fractures with US - the more expensive units have different wave patterns to do this.

Generally you shouldn't feel anything on US, possibly a bit of heat, but most patients feel nothing.

Tuning forks have been proved to be unreliable sources of detection for stress fractures. US is more useful than xray according to recent studies where real stress fractures were identified with MRI.

23/01/2009 at 15:12

Hello chuffing ankle. Am I not safe anywhere

btw - I don't think I have a stress fracture (or hope not anyway!!) - physio just wanted to rule it out.

Siance - she stopped right away when I said it hurt. Apparently it was only on a low setting too.

Just been for the x-ray. Didn't show up anything that the radiographer could spot - waiting for Dr's to get hold of them will be 3 weeks.

Doesn't hurt so much now so feel a bit in limbo.

24/01/2009 at 17:19
Mitten- Siance is right- MRI better for stress fracture- xray often doesn't show it in acute phase. We used to use this trick when I was a casualty officer, and it's a pretty good way of picking up minor fractues that are hard to see on x-ray- we used to send the ?sprained/?fractured ankles for immediate ultrasoud- the sprains felt much better, th e fractures yelped!...........-sorry- not helpful, I know

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