Current Rehabilitation Applications for Shoulder Ultrasound Imaging

The existing body of knowledge on shoulder ultrasound imaging has grown considerably within the past decade and physical therapists are among the many healthcare professions currently exploring the potential clinical integration of this imaging technology, and the knowledge drawn from it. Thus the primary objective of this commentary is to review the recent evidence and emerging uses of ultrasound imaging for the clinical evaluation of shoulder disorders. This includes a detailed description of common measurement techniques along with their known clinometric properties. Specifically provided are critical appraisals of the existing measures used to estimate soft-tissue and bony morphometry, muscle contractile states, and lean muscle density. These appraisals are intended to help clinicians clarify the scope of physical therapy practice for which these measurement techniques are effectively applied and also highlight areas where additional development is needed.