Alleviating pain with ultrasound guided joint injections
As a non-surgical orthopedic physician, I’ve been trained to do a number of non-surgical procedures for patients that can improve pain and function. One of those options is ultrasound-guided joint injections. Typically, we’re doing these injections to treat generalized pain in the joint area, osteoarthritis or some type of acute injury.
The benefit of being able to utilize ultrasound is that we can directly visualize the joint and confidently deliver the medication to the exact, correct location. Previous to the advent of ultrasound guided injections, physicians were performing these injections ‘blindly’ or with palpation-guidance. There have been a number of studies that show the palpation method is not nearly as accurate as the ultrasound guided method. For that reason, we utilize ultrasound for a number of techniques to inject a myriad of joints with extremely good accuracy.
Previous to ultrasound guidance, many of these joint injections needed to be done under fluoroscopic guidance, which is a much more invasive procedure that can be very painful to the patient. Now we can provide joint injections at the point of care in the office under ultrasound guidance with exactly the same amount of accuracy.
Some of the most common areas we inject to alleviate pain and improve function are:
AC joint (acromioclavicular joint)
Hand and wrist joints
Shoulder joint, either on the top on the shoulder (subacromial space) or deep into the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint)
Foot and ankle joints
Learn more about joint injections