The ACR is broadening its educational offerings in musculoskeletal ultrasound by holding its first stand-alone musculoskeletal ultrasound course for rheumatologists this August in Chicago. The same course will be offered prior to the 2010 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting.
Within the last 15 years, musculoskeletal ultrasound has become an established imaging technique across Europe; however, this modality has been underutilized within the U.S. because of the availability of magnetic resonance imaging. Real-time imaging makes musculoskeletal sonography a powerful diagnostic tool in the evaluation and management of a variety of joint and soft tissue disorders. Advances in technology, wide availability, and relatively low cost are factors that contribute to its expansion and usefulness in clinical practice. Additionally, the hands-on demands of ultrasound scanning may result in a more thorough patient-specific examination.
Because musculoskeletal ultrasound is technically demanding and operator dependent, proper training and extensive experience are essential to performing consistent, high-quality examinations. The ACR’s Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course is an intense two-day course designed for rheumatologists who want to learn ultrasound technology and gain practical experience using it. “This course will be targeted to the needs of rheumatologists at a beginner to intermediate level,” explains Course Planning Committee Chair Ralf Thiele, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. “The course will focus on an evidence-based approach and hands-on training.”
The course will include discussions of ultrasound assessment of important rheumatological conditions, including erosive disease, synovitis, tenosynovitis, enthesitis, and crystal arthropathy; practice of ultrasound needle guidance of aspirations and injections on models; discussion of the rationale for ultrasound guidance; and a pro-and-con panel to discuss ultrasound in rheumatology.
Upon completion of the course, attendees should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, hip, knee, foot, and ankle, as well as ultrasound guidance of aspirations, injections, and biopsies. There are currently 50 spaces still available for the August course, and ACR members will save $330 if they register by July 5. Visit www.rheumatology.org/education to learn more about this new educational opportunity.