The Division of Ultrasound in the Department of Radiology and Imaging at HSS provides a specialized neonatal service for congenital orthopedic concerns, hip dysplasia, and spinal conditions. The division practices a "heart of excellence" mandate which involves warm introductions and friendly smiles, and a can-do attitude for both the staff as well as the young patient. Pediatric patients are fit in to the schedule to avoid lengthy wait times. Flexible in-room examination protocols permit our youngsters to bring toys and items of comfort with them into the examination room. Extra soft toweling and warm gel is used to facilitate patient comfort. Following the ultrasound examination, the patient is awarded with stickers for a "job well done" as well as our appreciation of their good behavior.
Most often sedation is not required, however if anesthesia is recommended for an interventional ultrasound guided procedure, anesthesia is administered and monitored by pediatric anesthesiologists.
Ultrasound is the method of choice to assess neonatal hips in children younger than 4 months of age. At HSS, we do about 10-15 hip examinations on babies a week. Ultrasound is also the method of choice to assess for joint effusion as well as performing joint aspirations to rule out infection. Additionally, ultrasound can be used for the evaluation of congenital anomalies of the hand or foot (e.g. evaluate congenital vertical talus). Recently we have started to perform ultrasound evaluations the neonatal spine to assess the location of the bottom of the spinal cord (conus medullaris).
All our examinations are performed or reviewed by board certified radiologists who have special training in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Ultrasound studies are compared with prior ultrasound or other imaging studies at the time of the patient's visit via PACS. The ultrasound examinations are also immediately available in our PACS system so results are available for review by the referring physician and enable easy consultation between the referring physician and our radiologists.