Ultrasound Guided Injections can Relieve Chronic Joint Pain

Joint injections or Peripheral intra-articular injections have proven highly effective in the treatment of chronic joint pain. Ultrasound guided joint injections are used to relieve knee, hip, shoulder, ankle and other joint pain.

Doctors use ultrasound guidance to facilitate proper needle placement and to ensure that the medication goes into the joint space.

Advantages of Ultrasound Guidance over Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy involves using X-ray device to visualize and confirm needle placement. Ultrasound does not involve exposure to radiation and allows the surrounding soft tissue, vessels, and nerve structures to be directly seen.

Joints that can benefit from Ultrasound Guidance

The three most commonly injected joints are:

  • Knee joints – The largest joints of the body are subject to arthritic conditions, such as osteoarthritis and bursitis.
  • Shoulder joints – Another commonly injected joint is the glenohumeral joint (shoulder), which is the most mobile joint of the body. The shoulder joint is a complex structure, and it is surrounded by many muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Hip joints – These are frequently prone to chronic pain related to arthritic changes and injury. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint located deep in the body. The hip joint capsule extends down the top of the thigh bone (femur neck). Certain nerves and vessels should be avoided when injected these joints (neurovascular femoral nerve-vein-artery bundle).

Immediate pain relief is experienced when an anesthetic is injected into the joint. It takes the corticosteroid 20-48 hours to begin working. Most people enjoy 2-6 months of pain relief following a peripheral intra-articular injection.