Ultrasound system used to full advantage by sports and exercise medicine teams in Scotland
Dr Andrew Murray with his EDGE system at Edinburgh University Fitness Assessment and Sports Injuries Centre
A SonoSite EDGE point-of-care ultrasound system is currently being used to full advantage by sports and exercise medicine teams in Scotland to quickly diagnose musculoskeletal conditions, guide treatment and get athletes back into action as quickly as possible after injury.
Andrew Murray, sports and exercise medicine doctor with the Scottish Rugby Union, the sportscotland Institute of Sport, and the Fitness Assessment and Sports Injuries Centre (FASIC) at the University of Edinburgh, continually carries the lightweight portable system between different sites, and finds it invaluable.
He said: “The nature of my work means I’m constantly on the move and the EDGE system suits that perfectly. It is extremely portable, very robust and the images are excellent. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is tremendously helpful, not only to establish a diagnosis quickly, but also to look at biomechanics, guide treatments and provide more accurate prognosis or rehabilitation times.”
Most recently, the system has been put through its paces by the medical and physiotherapy teams keeping the Scottish rugby team fit and injury-free during the RBS Six Nations Championship.
James Robson, head of medical services at Scottish Rugby, said: “As physicians, having musculoskeletal ultrasound available is extremely helpful for confirming or ruling out many specific injuries and guiding treatment and rehabilitation. A portable system is essential. During the course of any tournament we can be travelling to grounds all over Europe and having instant access to the same ultrasound system we use back in the Murrayfield stadium is invaluable. The players too really value being able to see the problem in detail.”
Murray added: “For all my patients, whatever their sport or level of expertise, it is very reassuring to be able to see a picture of their particular injury. I can point everything out and explain exactly what’s going on, as well as the rationale of treatment and prevention strategies moving forward.”
He added: “It’s not just for elite sportsmen where the EDGE comes in handy. I see patients from all levels of sports and exercise. Each sport is very different. For example, with rugby players, we’re mainly dealing with collision-type injuries – medial collateral ligaments to the knee, lateral ankle ligaments, contusions, muscle tears and acromioclavicular joint type problems, to name a few. I also see a lot of runners, who most frequently suffer from injuries like Achilles tendinopathy and iliotibial band syndrome – essentially chronic overuse symptoms – and today I’ve also scanned Judo players, a swimmer and a cyclist.
“Having some capability in MSK ultrasound has substantially increased what I am able to do for my patients. It helps me to do the very best I can for every athlete, every time, and it’s very exciting to be able to make a difference, however small that might be, that contributes to someone’s sporting success.”