Wrist ultrasound examination – scanning technique and ultrasound anatomy. Part 1: Dorsal wrist

Cyprian Olchowy, Mateusz Łasecki, Urszula Zaleska-Dorobisz

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2015; 15: 172–188
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2015.0015

Ultrasound imaging of the musculoskeletal system is superior to other imaging methods in many aspects, such as multidimensional character of imaging, possibility of dynamic evaluation and precise assessment of soft tissues. Moreover, it is a safe and relatively inexpensive method, broadly available and well-tolerated by patients. A correctly conducted ultrasound examination of the wrist delivers detailed information concerning the condition of tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves and vessels. However, the knowledge of anatomy is crucial to establish a correct ultrasound diagnosis, also in wrist assessment. An ultrasound examination of the wrist is one of the most common US examinations conducted in patients with rheumatological diseases. Ultrasonographic signs depend on the advancement of the disease. The examination is equally frequently conducted in patients with pain or swelling of the wrist due to non-rheumatological causes. The aim of this publication was to present ultrasound images and anatomic schemes corresponding to them. The correct scanning technique of the dorsal part of the wrist was discussed and some practical tips, thanks to which highly diagnostic images can be obtained, were presented. The f ollowing anatomical structures should be visualized in an ultrasound examination of the dorsal wrist: distal radio-ulnar joint, radiocarpal joint, midcarpal joint, carpometacarpal joints, dorsal radiocarpal ligament, compartments of extensor tendons, radial artery, cephalic vein, two small branches of the radial nerve: superfi cial and deep, as well as certain midcarpal ligaments, particularly the scapholunate ligament and lunotriquetral ligament. The paper was distinguished in 2014 as the “poster of the month” (poster number C-1896) during the poster session of the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna.

ultrasound, tendons, wrist, peripheral nerves, hand