Although the anatomy of the hand and wrist is complex and the pathologic conditions encountered are diverse, many of the disease processes are localized, and in many situations, the clinical question is specific and limited. Because of this, ultrasound has always been an attractive imaging modality for evaluation of hand and wrist problems. Unfortunately, intrinsic difficulties in ultrasound image acquisition and interpretation have slowed the acceptance of hand and wrist sonography. Recently, however, new developments in high-resolution transducers and signal processing have dramatically improved image quality and scanning flexibility. For this reason, hand and wrist sonography is now more widely accepted and is taking its place along side other traditional modalities such as radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and arthrography. Specific situations in which ultrasound offers definite benefits include evaluation of tendon inflammation and rupture, evaluation of palpable masses or suspected occult masses, and evaluation of suspected foreign bodies. Analysis of the median nerve is also possible and in the future, may have a role in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.