What Is An Ultrasound of the Elbow Examination? 

An ultrasound scan is a painless test that allows live imaging of the inside of the body by using high frequency sound waves which are ‘reflected’ back to the probe from within the body. The elbow joint is the site where the humerus (upper arm) meets the radius and ulnar bones (forearm) which allows the forearm and hand to be moved towards and away from the body.  The elbow is made up of 3 joints:

  1. Humeroulnar joint which is a synovial hinge joint between the trochlear notch of the humeral condyle and the trochlear notch of the ulnar.

  2. Humeroradial joint which is the articulation between the humeral condyle and the superior aspect of the head of the radius bone.

  3. Superior radioulnar joint also known as the pivot type synovial joint between the head of the radius and the radial notch of the ulnar.

Elbow ultrasound is consistently used in the assessment of these joints for symptoms such as pain caused by overuse, inflammatory diseases, trauma and neuropathies.  Ultrasound is quick painless and readily available and has an advantage over conventional MRI / CT as ultrasound is a dynamic examination.  This means ultrasound helps to evaluate the muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue that make up the elbow joint upon movement in real time.

What is the Purpose of the scan?  

The purpose behind an ultrasound examination of the elbow is to provide an ultrasonic assessment of the musculoskeletal structures.  They Include:

  • Abnormal fluid / inflammation of the elbow.

  • Ulnar collateral ligament.

  • Radial Collateral ligament.

  • Annular ligament.

  • Pronator Teres.

  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis.

What Preparation Do I Need For This Scan?  

There is no preparation required for a elbow ultrasound examination.

Please bring along any information / medical notes / reports which are in relation to a elbow ultrasound examination as they may provide useful information for the scan. 

Common Indications for performing an Elbow Ultrasound scan?  

Reasons why you should have an ultrasound examination of the elbow include:

  • Pain.

  • Tears.

  • Reduced movement.

  • Golfers / Tennis Elbow.

  • Tumours / Cancers.

  • Tendinopathy.

  • Bursitis.

  • Joint Effusion.

  • Vascular Pathology.

  • Post surgical complication i.e. oedema, abscess, haematoma.

  • Soft tissue masses i.e. lipoma, ganglia.

  • Nerve Entrapment.

Why choose us?

The experience on your journey through our service is our priority, providing a relaxing, informative and window into the world of your elbow. This is enabled with the latest ultrasound imaging technology and experienced expert sonographer’s with proven high quality imaging protocols, pathways and procedures in place. We are trusted by GP’s, doctors, physiotherapists, midwifes and many other healthcare professionals.

Furthermore we currently provide services to large national organisations and unlike other many other diagnostic clinics provide services to specific NHS organisations which require us to have in place extremely strict quality control measures.

Who will I see?

You will be cared for by a small team and seen by a specialist healthcare professional that has proven experience, and specialised in musculoskeletal ultrasound.  Unlike other diagnostic imaging ultrasound is “real time” imaging and the quality of the scan and ultimately the information you take away depends upon the expertise, experience & skill of the person scanning you.  This is an important point for consideration and hence why at Medison imaging you will always be seen by an expert who has vast expertise and experience in the field of Musculoskeletal ultrasound.



  • Patients who are unable to co-operate due to reduce cognitive functions e.g. dementia.

  • Patients who have had recent surgery, ultrasound visualisation maybe limited due to oedema, haematoma, surgical staples, dressings etc.

  • Ultrasound is complimentary with other imaging modalities such as X-Ray, CT, MRI and arthroscopy.