The use of ultrasound for diagnostic purposes (also called sonography) is the most common examination method worldwide and is considered to be the most gentle method to take a look inside the patient, as there is no radiation exposure and thus biological damage can almost be ruled out. Ultrasound was first used for orthopedic purposes in 1978.
Ultrasound refers to waves that lie outside the human ear (ultrasound lies between 20,000 Hz and 1000 MHz). In medicine, they are generated in order to be able to assess tissue more accurately using a monitor. For this purpose, a gel is applied to the surface of the skin so that the ultrasound probe can be placed on it without disturbing layers of air lying between the examination device and the tissue. This is necessary because only solid tissue can be examined by ultrasound, which explains why cavities such as the lungs or the intestines can hardly be examined by this method. If the ultrasound hits solid tissue, it reflects the sound, so that information about the thickness of the tissue can be given by the time between sending and receiving.
The great advantage of sonography is that the examination can also take place while the patient is moving, which makes it possible to diagnose diseases of the body which, for example, only occur during certain movements in a more targeted manner.