What is the role of ultrasonography in the evaluation of ulnar neuropathy?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Charles F Guardia, III, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Ultrasonographic examination of peripheral nerves may be used to support the clinical and electrophysiologic diagnosis in a compressive neuropathy. It may also help in identifying specific compressive etiologies of nerve injury (eg, tumors or cysts) and visualizing structural nerve changes. Advantages of ultrasonography include the following:

  • Unlike computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasonography provides real time evaluation of nerve displacement or compression during movements of adjacent joints

  • Ultrasonography is noninvasive, cheap, portable, and well tolerated

  • Ultrasonography is readily available (though technicians with specific experience in peripheral nerve ultrasonography may not be)

  • The peripheral nerve can be followed for much of its course in an extremity [112, 113, 114, 115, 116]


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