March 2, 2018

A new Task Force is born – Launching the Task Force of Ultrasound in PRM (USPRM)

Launching the New Task Force of Ultrasound in PRM

Levent Özçakar, MD, Professor, Chair of the USPRM Task Force

The specialty of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) deals with a large variety of diseases involving the neuromusculoskeletal system. Accordingly, physiatrists need to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate disorders affecting several tissues including muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage. In this regard, the utility of ultrasound (US) imaging – which provides superior diagnostic and interventional opportunities for a musculoskeletal physician – is paramount for our specialty (1). Likewise, it is apparent that US imaging allows physiatrists to first see (without resecting), then assess/quantify, and eventually have access to the anatomical structure or pathology (for any intervention) (2). This gives PRM physicians the liberty to conduct multiple explorations and provide “comfort” to physicians and patients alike. Further, taking into account the fact that the use of US in clinical practice is naturally coupled with scholarly publishing, this also means “academic superiority” (3). Physiatrists now have the chance to discuss new observations and data that were not available to them before.

Herewith, other than being unable to image intraosseous tissues, the most important disadvantage of musculoskeletal US is its user-dependency. As such, there is indisputably need for a lengthy education before one can confidently make comments on a pathology or, in other words, before others can rely on his/her scanning. To this end, it is hightime international standardized consensus was established on formal educational curricula and accreditation programs to better educate and then certify those who are competent enough to perform US (4,5).We strongly believe that such an important process will nicely be accomplished within the umbrella of ISPRM.


  1. Özçakar L, Kara M, Chang KV, et al. Nineteen reasons why physiatrists should do musculoskeletal ultrasound: EURO-MUSCULUS/USPRM recommendations. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2015;94:e45-9.
  2. Özçakar L, Onat ŞŞ, Gürçay E, Kara M. Are blind injections ethical or historical ? Think twice with ultrasound. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2016;95:158-60.
  3. Akkaya N, Ulaşlı AM, Özçakar L. Use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in clinical studies in physiatry: the “stethoscope” is also becoming the “pen”. J Rehabil Med 2013;45:701-2.
  4. Özçakar L, Kara M, Chang KV, Lew H, Franchignoni F. Musculoskeletal ultrasound liberating PRM: a reinforcement for “runners”, a reminder for “walkers” and the last call for “couch potatoes”. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2018 Jan 3.
  5. Özçakar L, Ekiz T, Aydin G, Mezian K, Kara M, Gürçay E, Franchignoni F. Musculoskeletal ultrasound “threatening” physical and rehabilitation medicine: a prime caution regarding foxes. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2017 Nov 3.