Multiple societies have provided support for a position statement on the Recommended Musculoskeletal and Sports Ultrasound Terminology, a concise reference document that strives to improve clarity and consistency of communication and reporting for disciplinaries of which the terminology applies.

This multidisciplinary expert consensus statement—which includes leading organizations representing sports medicine, radiology, orthopedics, anesthesia and pain medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation—addresses multiple areas of variability in diagnostic ultrasound imaging and ultrasound-guided procedures related to musculoskeletal and sports medicine.

The position statement is supported by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, European Society of Musculoskeletal Radiology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and Society of Skeletal Radiology. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has affirmed the value of the statement.

The document has been co-published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The use of ultrasound has increased at a frantic pace and is now used by multiple medical disciplines in the care of musculoskeletal and sports medicine patients, and the lack of consistent terminology has created many challenges,” says Mederic Hall, MD, the co-lead author of the statement. “We saw an opportunity to further advance the field by providing a resource which will allow consistent communication whether teaching or reporting.”

With the increasing use of ultrasound across disciplines, a lack of consensus regarding standardized terminology can lead to confusion when conveying information between colleagues for clinical and research purposes. Learners can also struggle as different terms are used to describe simple actions such as transducer movement and imaging planes. Furthermore, communication with patients, third-party payers, and the public, also faces these same challenges.

To address these issues, a multidisciplinary expert panel was convened consisting of 18 members representing multiple specialty societies identified as key stakeholders in musculoskeletal and sports ultrasound, resulting in the consensus document.

While other terminology references are available, the focus was on clinically relevant topics in the context of musculoskeletal medicine, where the authors identified frequent variations in terminology used in everyday practice, scientific presentations, and the literature.

“As the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound has proliferated, the need for this type of reference has become paramount,” says AIUM President and statement co-author Levon Nazarian, MD. “Consistent and agreed-upon terminology facilitates communication among medical professionals and ultimately leads to better patient care.”