What is the role of ultrasonography in the administration of corticosteroid injections for joint and soft tissue injuries?

Updated: Jan 15, 2020
  • Author: Jess D Salinas, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Sibbitt et al found that in patients receiving intra-articular joint injections for pain, the use of ultrasonographic needle guidance appears to significantly improve performance and outcome. [32] Their randomized study of triamcinolone acetonide injection into 148 painful joints showed that in patients who underwent ultrasonographically guided injections, when compared with those who underwent conventional, palpation-guided injections, procedural pain was reduced 43% (p < 0.001), absolute pain scores at 2 weeks were reduced 58.5% (p < 0.001), significant pain was reduced 75% (p < 0.001), and the responder rate increased 25.6% (p < 0.01).

Curtiss et al determined that ultrasonographically guided knee injections that used a superolateral approach were 100% accurate. In comparison, the accuracy of palpation-guided knee injections varied considerably depending on the clinician's experience. [33]

In patients with subacromial impingement syndrome, however, a study by Cole et al found no significant difference in clinical outcome between those who received ultrasonographically guided subacromial corticosteroid injections and those who received such injections without ultrasonographic guidance. The study included 56 shoulders. [34]

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