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The use of ultrasound in evaluating orthopaedic trauma patients.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a low-cost, noninvasive method of evaluating orthopaedic trauma patients. It is particularly useful for patients with metallic hardware, which may degrade computed tomography or magnetic resonance images. Ultrasound has been used to evaluate fracture union and nonunion, infection, ligamentous injury, nerve compression, and mechanical impingement caused by hardware. Real-time dynamic examination allows identification of pathology and provides direct correlation between symptoms and the observed pathology.