Ultrasound Guided Injections
Ultrasound is an advanced imaging technique that employs high frequency sound waves to create images of the internal structures of the body. These images provide your healthcare provider valuable information which assists in diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of tendon, muscle and joint disorders. It is also an excellent tool for guiding the placement of needles for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Ultrasound-guided injection provides improved accuracy for injection site location.
There are several advantages of ultrasound imaging compared to other imaging techniques including:
- Improved accuracy of injections
- No patient exposure to ionizing radiation
- Easy assessment of tendons, ligaments and muscles
- Direct visualization of the area being treated
Some uses for diagnostic ultrasound imaging include:
- Assessment of tendon/ligament/bursal tears or inflammation
- Injections to specific areas of the body
- Hip, knee or shoulder joint
- Piriformis muscle
- Hamstring tendons
- Trochanteric bursa
- Help guide needle placement during needle aspirations
During an ultrasound guided injection, you will be asked to lie or sit down on a table depending on the injection location. A water-based conducting gel is applied to your skin to assist the transmission of sound waves. Your healthcare provider will apply a hand-held probe, called a transducer, over the specific area. The transducer emits sound waves and detects the rebound echoes from the tissue. Images are created from these sound waves which are viewed on the video display screen attached to the scanner. If an injection is needed, the skin will then be cleansed, and a needle inserted into the skin the specified location. Using ultrasound guidance, placement of the needle has increased accuracy and precision.
Ultrasound guided injection is a relatively safe and painless procedure. However, as with most treatment procedures, injections are rarely associated with certain complications. The risks and complications that could be associated injections include:
- Increased pain at the injection site
- Tissue damage
- Injury to neighboring nerves
Undergoing the procedure under the hands of a skilled medical provider can greatly minimize these risks.