What is a Diagnostic Ultrasound Scan?

Diagnostic ultrasound, also known as sonography or diagnostic medial sonography is a medical imaging technique which uses uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of structures inside the body. As such, a diagnostic ultrasound scan is an investigation which makes it possible to see an injured area of the body in real-time.

At Mike Varney Physiotherapy our private ultrasound scans are performed using a small handheld probe which send out sound waves that echo back through the tissues of the body and form an image on the screen of the scanner.

Diagnostic Ultrasound scans are performed by a physiotherapist who has completed a Masters-level PGCert qualification, a highly regarded and recognised qualification within diagnostic ultrasonography.

What is Diagnostic Ultrasound used for?


Muscle injuries

Ligament injuries



Peripheral nerve entrapment such as Carpal Tunnel syndrome

Ganglion cysts

What is the benefit of Diagnostic Ultrasound assessment?

Having a Diagnostic Ultrasound Scan of an injury as part of your physical assessment gives our physiotherapist a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis of the problem. This can help guide your treatment programme and speed up your recovery.

Most ultrasound and diagnostic imaging scans performed in hospitals are carried out by sonographers, whose main role is to scan patients and refer on to other healthcare professionals. As a physiotherapy practice with an ultrasound scanner, the benefit of having a diagnostic scan by a physiotherapist is that they are able to look directly at the injury with the diagnostic imaging in real time and relate what the scan shows directly to your physiotherapy treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

The actual diagnostic scan itself takes 5-10 minutes to complete, but our physiotherapist will complete a brief assessment and discuss the history of the injury with you first.

An ultrasound scan is completely safe and there are no adverse side effects at all. This form of diagnostic scan does not use radiation, as used in X-rays, or magnetic fields as used in MRI scans. You do not feel anything during the scan apart from the handheld probe being moved over the skin. A small amount of water-based gel is used to allow the probe to glide smoothly over the surface of your skin.

An ultrasound scan is the same scan that women have when they are pregnant.

You will be advised of the ultrasound scan results straight away. Our physiotherapist will discuss scan diagnosis with you during the appointment on the day. A treatment plan will then be discussed with you regarding the next best steps in the management of your injury. You will be given a written ultrasound report within 24 hours with the results which you may wish to share with your GP or Consultant.

Further Information & Arranging Your Scan

Diagnostic Ultrasound Scanning

You can download our leaflet on Diagnostic Ultrasound Scanning here.

If you have any further questions,need expert advice about ultrasound scans or wish to book a ultrasound scan, please contact the practice where we will be happy to help you.



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