Musculoskeletal Advanced Techniques and Technologies

Musculoskeletal Procedures - UCSF Medical

In working with lateral hip pain, joint injections and joint replacement, we utilize these innovative techniques and technologies to support our clinical and research work:

High Field High Resolution, MRI operating at 3 Tesla

Used for joint disorders (including hip pain), and spine, bone and soft tissue disorders, and rheumatological diseases. High resolution MRI at 3 Tesla, allows better detection of pathology than does standard MRI, helping to find out which treatments are the best option for patients.

MRI Imaging - UCSF Medical

MR Arthrography

For better evaluation of shoulder, wrist, elbow and hip joints to find the cause of pain and limited function. This technique improves analysis of cartilage and labrum of the shoulder and hip. 

64 Slice CT Scanners

To capture the highest quality digital images while minimizing the radiation level for the patient and achieve the lowest radiation dose possible, using the latest low radiation ASIR (Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction) software for imaging a wide range of disorders. UCSF uses dose reduction software and adds new procedural techniques to reduce patients’ radiation during imaging by up to 80 percent.

Newly Developed MRI Techniques

To analyze cartilage quality before cartilage is lost, which allows us to assess the risk for osteoarthritis and the possible benefit for using joint injections and other treatments. These techniques include T1rho and T2 relaxation time mapping to measure cartilage quality.

Novel Metal Suppression Techniques

To image patients with joint replacements, implants and other hardware using MRI. These technologies allow us to analyze abnormalities around the metal hardware, which may be a source of hardware-related complications, pain and disability.

Whole Body MRI and PET/CT Imaging

For evaluating patients with cancers that spread to the bone, bone marrow cancers and other tumors. This allows to detect very early disease stages and also to effectively check the treatment response. 

MRI & PET/CT Imaging - UCSF Medical

 MR Technologies to Suppress Motion

For use with patients that have pain and claustrophobia, enabling better image quality even when patients may not be able to lie perfectly still.

CT-Guided Bone and Soft Tissue Procedures

To obtain minimally-invasive and safe biopsies in patients with bone and soft tissue tumors.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Osteoid Osteomas

To treat osteoid osteomas and other bone tumors with minimal amounts of associated disability.  Learn more about radiofrequency ablation.

Joint Injections for Osteoarthritis Pain Treatment

To relieve joint pain due to osteoarthritis or other joint disorders (including results of joint replacements) using local anesthetics, corticosteroids and viscosupplements to lubricate the joints (hyaluronate, Synvisc®).

MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound to Treat Bone Metastases

To treat bone metastases non-invasively with ultrasound waves, which heat up tumor cells and relief pain. Learn more about how MRgFUS is used to treat bone metastases.

Bone Mineral Density Measurements Using DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)

These measurements determine fracture risk, in particular for post-menopausal patients and allow to measure the response to treatment.


For better detection of fractures and fracture healing, in particular subtle fractures such as stress fractures and those that are not found with normal radiographs.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Services

To examine joints and identify the structures (ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, or wrist) to aid in making an accurate diagnosis and management plan. Diagnostic ultrasound is a comfortable, painless procedure that requires no preparation and no post treatment. It is an alternative to MR Imaging or can complement it. Ultrasound is also an accurate guidance tool for therapeutic musculoskeletal interventions procedures including Cyst aspirations or Tendon sheath injections.