When Dr. Alan Hirahara, MD, FRCSC, started using ultrasound in 2009, he was already considered one of the top orthopedic surgeons specializing in shoulder arthroscopy and sports medicine.
A lot of really, really good surgeons don’t think they need to use ultrasound, but I’ve learned that it’s a tool that all of us could use to do a better job,” he says. “I started using ultrasound when I saw that surgeons in other parts of the world were far head of us. They were using it to analyze the structure of tissues, tendons, muscles, and ligaments prior to administering orthobiologics treatments and were achieving better results.”
Dr. Hirahara uses the Clarius L15 HD3 high-frequency linear scanner for his practice. We recently had an opportunity to interview Dr. Hirahara about his experience using wireless ultrasound at his orthopedic practice. Watch this short video to see what he said or read on for some highlights.
How Affordable, High-Quality Handheld Ultrasound is Driving Adoption
Dr. Hirahara believes ultrasound use among orthopedic surgeons is growing as it’s being taught in residencies; more clinicians are realizing ultrasound use is helping patients get better diagnosis and better treatment and ultrasound system costs are decreasing thanks to handheld ultrasound systems like Clarius.
I think what’s going to make a difference is not the ease, not the technology, it’s the price. With all of the reimbursement cuts and slashes and diminishments in Medicare and all the other PPOs, well, we’re now making less money. So, there’s less incentive for us to invest in technology. Your ability to give us less expensive technology is what’s truly going to make the difference and convince people to give it a try. Because the reality is, that’s what it’s going to take, is actually just doing it. Once you do it, it’s obvious what it’s going to do for you.”
This technology allows us to treat patients better with more options, more precision, and in the end, it’s going to be better outcomes.”
Why Dr. Hirahara Recommends Clarius Ultrasound
As an original member of the Clarius medical advisory board, Dr. Hirahara has used all three generations of the Clarius scanners.
I think Clarius, what it’s really done has revolutionized smaller and wireless. That is really where it’s at. Sure, there are other wireless ones and pseudo wireless ones and handheld units. Nothing that I have seen has come close to the quality of the image of this machine. Sure, some of the other ones are cheaper. You get what you pay for. At this point, what I like is the innovation. I like the continued push for smaller, for optimization for our usage, for improved resolution, for improved technology.”
Why Patients are Happy About Ultrasound Guidance for Orthopedic Therapy
According to Dr. Hirahara, many patients seeing him for an injection for the first time are often bracing for pain.
I hear the same thing from every single patient. Oh no, I’ve had these shots. It hurts like hell; it’s going to be really bad. It’s going to be horrible. And then when it doesn’t hurt, they’re like, well, why didn’t the other guy do that,” he recounts. “They’re blown away by the fact that number one, I can put it where I say I’m going to put it. Number two, it’s actually faster, more efficient. They’re in and out because I’m not digging and trying to guess. And three, they have such a high clinical outcome and they’re so satisfied that they’re convinced.”
Free Instructional Webinar with Dr. Alan Hirahara
Join us for the one-hour webinar “Expert Ultrasound Guidance for Accurate MSK Injections, Part 1: The Shoulder” with Dr. Hirahara on October 11, 2022, to learn how effective, easy, and affordable it is to add high-definition wireless ultrasound to your practice. Dr. Hirahara will demonstrate expert ultrasound techniques so you can learn how to accurately guide a variety of shoulder injections for optimal visualization of anatomy and your needle. Dr. Hirahara will use a cadaver shoulder to teach:
- How to accurately inject into the biceps and subscapularis tendons or sheaths
- Visualization of supraspinatus tendon abnormalities and PRP injection guidance
- The best approach for needle visualization during a subacromial space injection
- Accurate and effective AC joint and intra-articular shoulder injections
- Tips to pinpoint the optimal location for successful suprapectoral biceps tenodesis
Superior Wireless Ultrasound for Orthopedic Surgery and Injections
With 8 times the processing power of most handheld ultrasound systems, Clarius HD3 gives you sharp and clear images of muscle and tissue to assess injuries and perform injections with confidence. You get the power of a traditional ultrasound system for a small fraction of the size and cost!
Clarius offers three handheld ultrasound systems that are suitable for MSK applications. Visit our orthopedic surgery page to learn more. Or contact us today to request a virtual demo with one of our ultrasound experts.