Ultrasound evaluation of focal neuropathies in athletes
The rare but clinically important presentation of focal neuropathies in athletes represents a potentially challenging etiology of pain. Causes of neuropathy range from blunt trauma, instability, compression or stretch injury; and may be related to biomechanics, equipment, technique, training errors or collisions. Whilst a number of imaging modalities may be utilised in the evaluation of nerve entrapments, diagnostic ultrasound is commonly used.
Diagnostic ultrasound offers numerous advantages over other imaging modalities, such as high resolution, portability, lack of ionising radiation, low cost, point-of-care access, ease of contralateral comparison, to name a few. The following review discusses the use of ultrasound in the assessment of injuries to the brachial plexus, suprascapular nerve, ulnar nerve, radial nerve, common fibular nerve, tibial nerve, and interdigital nerves of the foot.
Sports medicine clinicians should consider diagnostic ultrasound evaluation when athletes present with persistent focal pain with neurogenic characteristics, guided by a careful clinical evaluation.
> From: Peck et al., Br J Sports Med (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.. Click here for the Pubmed summary.