What is Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI)?

RUSI scans utilise Real Time Ultrasound (RTUS) technology to visualise the soft tissues of the body such as ligaments, tendons and muscles. The human eye has limitations – they cannot see below the skin – whereas RTUS can, giving the operator a clearer picture of what is going on inside your body. This is really a whole new level of assessment not provided accessible.

You may be familiar with RTUS – it is the equipment used during pregnancy to produce images of unborn babies, or you may have had an injury assessed in the past using this equipment at a Radiology Centre.

In a trained technicians hand this equipment can be used to assess for injuries to soft tissues like ligaments, tendons and muscles. It can also be used to assess how muscles are firing (or interacting) around joints during movement. This is very important in certain areas of the body where muscle activity around a joint is essential for pain free function (such as the shoulder).

The RTUS can be used for retraining of these “muscle firing” patterns as the operator can allow the client to actually “see” their different muscle groups firing.

RTUS can also be used to see how well an injury is healing – or indeed what stage of healing it is in. This can be essential for sports people who are considering returning to sport or training and want to be sure that they are not risking further injury.

Nathan Rowlands - Blackwood Physiotherapy


Sports Injuries, Musculoskeletal conditions, Exercise prescription, Dry Needling, Clinical Exercise programs, Personal Training

Consulting Days/Times:
Monday 10:30am – 6:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am – 12:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am – 2:30pm
Thursday 8:30am – 6.00pm
Friday 11:30am – 5.00pm
Saturday 8.30am – 12:00pm (alt weeks)

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Our RUSI physiotherapist at Blackwood Physiotherapy – Sports and Spinal

At Blackwood Physiotherapy – Sports and Spinal we are fortunate enough to have a fully qualified sonographer (with 20 years experience and still currently working in medical imaging – Sonography) and a Physiotherapist with 10 years experience in Peter Esselbach.

Peter is the innovator of this type of imaging combining his knowledge and expertise in Physiotherapy and Sonography to do these scans.

He also lectures and consults other health professionals in training them in Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging.

Who are RUSI assessments beneficial for?

RUSI assessments can be very useful for people experiencing:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip or thigh pain
  • Back pain
  • Elbow pain – tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Achilles or calf pain
  • Knee pain
  • Heel pain or pain in the sole of the foot
  • Muscle strains (e.g. hamstring, quadriceps, calf)
  • Neck pain and headaches – especially those due to postural issues
  • Pre or post spinal surgery
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction (e.g. incontinence or post prostate surgery)
  • Poor core strength – or wanting to improve their “core” strength

What is involved in having a Rehabilitative Ultrasound Scan?

Duration of the scan – the scan takes place in normal 30-minute consultation

What’s included?

  • RUSI scan
  • Assessment of problem
  • Retraining of muscle patterns if needed
  • Advice and instructions on appropriate rehabilitative exercises
  • A printed report on the scan is provided to your physiotherapist (if seeing another therapist) or doctor

What is the cost of RUSI?

For a RUSI scan you will be billed for a normal physiotherapy consultation (either an initial or subsequent consultation – depending on whether it is your first consultation or a follow up appointment).

You can claim back part of this cost if you have private health insurance coverage with extras (for physiotherapy).

Separate to the physiotherapy consultation charge there is a $35 dollar charge on top. This charge covers the specialised skills and expertise provided by the RUSI physiotherapist and the use of the state of the art US equipment.