Ultrasound is one of the imaging modalites wich is increasingly being used to assist Sports Medicine Physicians in performing evaluations and injections of different muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Although ultrasound is frequently used to identify injuries or abnormalities; it is also used when performing injections into the knee, shoulder and hip.
The use of ultrasound improves the accuracy of the injection. Also, guided injections can be used diagnostically to help determine which structures are generating the patient’s pain. Ultrasound-guided injections allow the practitioner to visualize the needle in real time as it enters the body and traverses to the desired location. This assures that the medication is accurately injected at the intended site.
Additionally, ultrasound guided injections have been shown to be less painful than blind injections. Although there are many different types of imaging that can be used to assist with injections, ultrasound has a few distinct advantages.
1) Ultrasound has no radiation.
2) Ultrasound allows us to visualize the bony joint as well as all of the surrounding structures.
3) Ultrasound is able to identify fluid better than conventional radiographs and can see fluid that may have accumulated in and around joints, tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft-tissue structures.