"Traditionally, we use our fingers to feel the joint and see if there is inflammation or swelling," said Dimitrios Pappas, MD, a rheumatologist at the hospital. Physicians then let the ultrasound guide them as they inject medication or drain fluid, he said.
The ultrasound is inexpensive and can be done immediately at a patient's bedside, which eliminates the need for an x-ray or an MRI. "We can do it having a patient moving, we can see the joint in motion," said Dr. Pappas.
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