ISSN 2398-2942      

Physiotherapy: therapeutic ultrasound

icanis

Introduction

  • Therapeutic ultrasound is a physiotherapy treatment that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce both thermal and non-thermal effects in mainly soft tissue structures to improve healing and remodeling of injuries. 
  • It is particularly useful in improving wound healing, remodeling scar tissue, reducing edema and soft tissue filling in limbs, improving flexibility of movement after injury and fibrosis, and treating muscle injuries. 

Uses

  • As part of a physiotherapy regimen Physiotherapy - can shorten rehabilitation time, decrease swelling/edema and pain, and facilitate increase in motion:  
    • Remodeling of scar tissue and facial planes Wound: secondary intention healing
    • Promotion of wound healing Wound: healing - stages by increasing protein synthesis in fibroblasts (use at least two weeks post-injury) Wound: healing - factors
    • Osteoarthritis Arthritis: osteoarthritis - promotes healing and flexibility of the joint capsule. There may also be some affect on the synovial membrane. 
    • Tendon injuries. Studies have shown improved histological appearances of damaged tendons and less peritendinous adhesions. 
    • Muscle damage and spasm/pain. 
    • Resolution of tissue edema and hematomas once hemorrhage has stopped. 
    • Nerve injuries by encouraging remyelination and regeneration of damaged axons. 
  • Phonophoresis: to facilitate dispersal of topical or injected medications throughout soft tissues:  

Advantages

  • Non-invasive technique. 
  • Wide range of applications. 
  • Easy to apply once instructed by trained person such as physiotherapist. Owners may be able to treat the animal under instruction saving costs and increasing frequency of treatment.

Disadvantages

  • Tissues can be damaged if ultrasound is used inappropriately - it should only be used in those cases where there has been a full veterinary evaluation. 
  • Tissue damage can be done before there is a pain response in the patient. 
  • Should not be used in proximity to open wounds or metal implants, or in cases of cellulitis Skin: cellulitis, infection, unstable fractures or surgical incisions. 

Requirements

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Preparation

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Procedure

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Aftercare

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prognosis

  • Depends on the original problem. 

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource
  • Saini N S et al (2002) A preliminary study on the effect of ultrasound therapy on the healing of surgically severed achilles tendons in five dogs. J Vet Med Physiol Pathol Clin Med 49 (6), 321-328 PubMed
  • Lang D C (1980) Ultrasonic treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in horse, dog and cat. Vet Rec 106 (21), 427-431 PubMed

Other sources of information

  • Ball M A (2003) Therapeutic use of Ultrasound, Lasers and Electromagnetics. In: Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse. Eds: Ross R W & Dyson S J. Saunders, Missouri. pp 811-812. 
  • Porter M (1999) Therapeutic Ultrasound. In: Equine Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Colahan P T, Mayhew I G, Merritt A M & Moore J N. Mosby, Missouri. pp 1444-1446. 

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code