University of Oulu

Nevalainen, M.T., Uusimaa, AP. & Saarakkala, S. The ultrasound assessment of osteoarthritis: the current status. Skeletal Radiol 52, 2271–2282 (2023).

The ultrasound assessment of osteoarthritis : the current status

Saved in:
Author: Nevalainen, Mika T.1,2; Uusimaa, Antti‑Pekka1; Saarakkala, Simo1
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, POB 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 50, 90029 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-18


Traditionally, osteoarthritis (OA) is diagnosed with the clinical examination supplemented by the conventional radiography (CR). In the research literature, the role of ultrasound (US) imaging in the diagnostics of OA has risen steadily during the last two decades. US imaging is cheap and globally widely available often already in primary healthcare. Here, we reviewed the most essential US literature focusing on OA diagnostics and progression prediction using the various search engines. Starting from the year 2000, our search provided 1 445 journal articles. After reviewing the abstracts, 89 articles were finally included. Most of the reviewed articles focused on the imaging of knee and hand OA, whereas only a minority dealt with the imaging of hip, ankle, midfoot, acromioclavicular, and temporomandibular joints. Overall, during the last 20 years, the use of US imaging for OA assessment has increased in the scientific literature. In knee and hand joints, US imaging has been reported to be a promising tool to evaluate OA changes. Furthermore, the reproducibility of US as well as its association to MRI findings are excellent. Importantly, US seems to even outperform CR in certain aspects, such as detection of osteophytes, joint inflammation, meniscus protrusion, and localized cartilage damage (especially at the medial femoral condyle and sulcus area). Based on the reviewed literature, US can be truly considered as a complementary tool to CR in the clinical setup for OA diagnostics. New technical developments may even enhance the diagnostic value of the US in the future.

see all

Series: Skeletal radiology
ISSN: 0364-2348
ISSN-E: 1432-2161
ISSN-L: 0364-2348
Volume: 52
Issue: 11
Pages: 2271 - 2282
DOI: 10.1007/s00256-023-04342-3
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
217 Medical engineering
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit