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Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Jeffrey Lai, MD -  - Regenerative Sports Medicine Physician

Jeffrey Lai, MD

Regenerative Sports Medicine Physician & Hormone Specialist located in Torrance, CA

Therapeutic injections are an increasingly popular non-surgical treatment choice for painful musculoskeletal conditions, with newer orthobiologic treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy expanding the range of options. Jeffrey Lai, MD, performs therapeutic injections at his modern office in Torrance, California, using musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance to ensure optimal delivery. Ultrasound technology gives Dr. Lai the visual confirmation to ensure that all of his procedures are pinpoint accurate. During your treatment, you can see for yourself on Dr. Lai’s wall-mounted flat screen. Call Jeffrey Lai, MD to find out more or book an appointment online.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Q & A

What is musculoskeletal ultrasound?

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a diagnostic technology used to find the source of pain in your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues.

Dr. Lai uses musculoskeletal ultrasound to guide him when carrying out interventional injections, too. He is the only sports medicine physician in the South Bay certified in musculoskeletal sonography (RMSK®), a qualification that demonstrates Dr. Lai’s expertise in using musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Ultrasound technology uses high-frequency sound waves to create real-time, moving images of your body. Using these images, Dr. Lai can deliver therapeutic injections to the precise spot where they’ll do the most good. He can also ensure that the needle doesn’t cause any damage to surrounding tissues during the injection procedure.


Why would I need therapeutic injections?

Therapeutic injections can be an effective way of treating musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain problems such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Labral tears
  • Muscle tears
  • Ligament tears
  • Tendinopathy

These conditions often improve using a combination of rest, physical therapy, medication, and other conservative approaches. If you’ve been receiving treatment for a while and it’s not helping, or is losing its effectiveness, therapeutic injections could help.


What kinds of therapeutic injections are there?

A range of therapeutic injections are available, including:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Hyaluronic acid (viscosupplementation)
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Prolotherapy
  • Stem cell therapy

These injections address a variety of underlying conditions with different results: Steroids reduce inflammation and pain. Viscosupplementation lubricates joints. PRP and stem cell therapy are orthobiologic treatments that use substances from your body to accelerate and improve healing.

Dr. Lai can also use musculoskeletal ultrasound to remove any excess fluid from joints or to run tests for conditions like gout or an infection.


How does musculoskeletal ultrasound help with therapeutic injections?

Using musculoskeletal ultrasound enables Dr. Lai to use the needle to see inside your body in real time. This helps him to position the needle accurately and direct the injection to the right place.

Studies show that without musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance, even the most capable and experienced physicians aren’t able to place the injection as precisely. Dr. Lai knows how vital it is to deliver the right treatment to the specific injury site, and he always uses musculoskeletal ultrasound to guide him when injecting patients.


Is musculoskeletal ultrasound better than moving X-rays?

Moving X-ray technology (fluoroscopy) is an alternative way of achieving optimal accuracy when delivering injectable therapies. Although fluoroscopy can be effective, musculoskeletal ultrasound has advantages.

First, there’s no radiation involved in ultrasound technology, whereas fluoroscopy uses ionizing radiation. With ultrasound, it’s also easier to see the soft tissue structures like nerves, blood vessels, and tendons that could be along the path of the injection.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is also better for identifying fluid in your joints that might need to be removed.

If you’re in the Torrance or Palos Verdes area, and need therapeutic injections for a musculoskeletal disorder, call Jeffrey Lai, MD, today or book an appointment online.