Dr. Ashesh Kumar (MD, MSc, FRCSC) is an Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Ontario, Canada for over 10 years. He spoke to All Imaging Systems about the benefits of ultrasound-guided diagnosis in treating patients.
Dr. Kumar has worked with ultrasounds since 2015 and is an early adopter of using the systems. At that time, it was considered a newer technology, and many Orthopedic Surgeons did not perform the procedure as they were too busy operating, and also had lack of available machines in the hospital. The Canadian Health System is different than the US and ultrasounds are mainly conducted by a Radiologist or Ultrasound Technician at an Imaging Center.
In an effort to educate himself on how he could use ultrasound technology, Dr. Kumar took classes to understand how it could benefit the patient. Although he believes in the procedure, in Canada there is no code that the Doctor can bill for the expense. When he does use the machine, he does it out of “good will” to help the patient.
The main use of the ultrasound in treating patients is to drain the inflamed area and inject steroid to easily target small and large joints. Soft tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, can be visualized easily compared to an x-ray machine. Ultrasounds are much safer than MRI machines, and gives you similar pictures.
He likes ultrasounds with a stable screen and prefers the small linear and curvilinear probes. Dr. Kumar also mentioned the increase interest in this field and physicians are now specializing in interventional radiology focusing on Musculoskeletal ultrasound techniques.