The value of musculoskeletal ultrasound in geriatric care and rehabilitation

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Abstract

The WHO reports that one of the major chronic conditions affecting the elderly worldwide is musculoskeletal disorders that are associated with long-term pain and disability. Considering the healthcare needs of the elderly (i.e. comprehensive, accessible, efficient) and the advantages of ultrasound (US) use (patient-friendly, convenient, cost-effective, and does not require exposure to radiation or magnetic fields), there seems to be a ‘gap’ in the actual clinical practice. In this paper, we aimed to highlight the potential value of US imaging in the management of the elderly with a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions (degenerative/rheumatic joint diseases, falls/trauma, nursing care, peripheral nerve problems, sarcopenia, and interventions). In this respect, electronic databases (ISI Web of Science, PubMed, Elsevier Science Direct) and reference lists of relevant articles/reviews were screened by two blinded investigators for each topic. The main medical subject heading terms selected to capture the most relevant papers on the topics in accordance with the literature were knee/hip/hand osteoarthritis, prevalence, rotator cuff injury, lateral epicondylitis, tendinopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, crystal arthropathies, gout, pseudogout, carpal tunnel syndrome, fall, fractures, hematoma, pressure ulcer, ultrasonography, interventional, sarcopenia, body composition, rehabilitation, frail elderly, and aged. The search was limited to peer-reviewed full-text English journals starting from the earliest papers to May 2017. A study population (or part of the study population) of adults older than 65 years (if possible) was included. We especially underscore the use of US by clinicians as an extension of their physical examination or as a practical guide for an immediate intervention.

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