At Ackland Sports Medicine we utilize the cutting-edge technologies for our patients to ensure proper diagnosis and prompt recovery. This includes use of Ultrasound guidance for injections. Ultrasound Guided Injections are a valuable tool that provide much greater accuracy to the injection, allows for superior visualization of the joint, confirms needle placement within the joint which leads to significantly higher efficacy of therapy, and also improves safety by helping to avoid neurovascular structures and tendons.
Other Advantages of Ultrasound:
- Unlike an MRI which can take more than 30 minutes, an ultrasound exam can be performed in a few moments during your office evaluation.
- Unlike x-rays and MRI which provide still images, an ultrasound is a dynamic process that can evaluate muscles, tendons, and joints during motion. This can be useful when attempting to diagnose the source of painful motion-related snaps and pops.
- Unlike x-rays and MRI, ultrasound does not use radiation and is therefore safer
Ultrasound as a Therapeutic Tool:
Using ultrasound as a therapeutic tool is perhaps more important than its role for diagnostic purposes. Ultrasound imaging can be used to aid injections. There are many advantages to using ultrasound to guide the injections including the following:
Numerous studies have reported low accuracy when performing injections in and around the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip without the assistance of image guidance such as ultrasound. Improved accuracy leads to less pain and better clinical results. The greater accuracy of ultrasound-guided injections has been proven in numerous research studies regardless of the physician’s level of experience.
Increased Safety and the ability to inject or aspirate near potentially dangerous structures
Using ultrasound-guidance allows physicians to be able to place needles adjacent to structures such as blood vessels or nerves that were previously felt to be too dangerous to attempt without the assistance of ultrasound. This can be useful when performing injections near nerves (such as the carpal tunnel), into tendon sheaths (such as the biceps), or draining cysts that may be near large blood vessels (such as popliteal or Baker’s cysts). The direct visualization provided by the ultrasound offers a greater margin of safety for injections in these areas.
Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive form of imaging technology that uses sound waves to produce images of structures inside the body including tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Ultrasound can be used for both diagnostic and potentially therapeutic purposes.
A series of three injections are usually recommended for your shoulder. Each injection is done in a different area of the shoulder. We use local anesthetic (freezing), and cortisone. The purpose of the local anesthetic is to help us determine whether or not this is the problem area that is causing your pain. By injecting each different area on three different days, we can tell which of the three areas is the source of your problem.