OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® offers ultrasound-guided injections to patients suffering from a number of acute and chronic conditions in the Dallas, Ft. Worth and Arlington area. Ultrasound allows the soft tissue structures such as, muscles, tendons, ligaments, arteries and nerves to be visualized. In addition, ultrasound can identify any pathologic changes within soft tissue structures. The benefit to using ultrasound during injections is to increases accuracy and minimize the risk of injury to adjacent nerves or blood vessels.
What Injuries can Ultrasound-Guided Injections Treat?
- Baker’s Cyst
- Carpal Tunnel
- Chondromalacia Patella
- Frozen Shoulder
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Tennis Elbow
What Injection is Used with Ultrasound Guidance?
In most cases, cortisone injections are used with ultrasound guidance. Cortisone is a type of steroid that is naturally produced in the body by the adrenal gland. When the body is under stress Cortisol is released into the blood stream. A cortisone injection is a high concentration of anti-inflammatory medication. The goal of a cortisone shot is to decrease inflammation in a certain area of the body. Cortisone shots are most commonly injected into joints, such as ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist.
Once the shot is given, some patients report slight pain, but is usually well tolerated. Typically, cortisone injections work within a few days and last up to several weeks. It is important to note that in most cases patients do not want to receive more than three cortisone shots. There is not specific limit, but some studies have shown that repeated cortisone injections can have a weakening affects on the tendons and softening of the cartilage, which is the reason we limit the number of injections offered to patients.
How does Ultrasound Guided Injections Work?
Ultrasound guided injections are administered in a similar fashion to traditional injections. When ultrasound is used, a small probe attached to a video monitor is pressed against the skin of the injured area. Once the anatomic landmarks have been identified, the injection is administered while watching the needle with the ultrasound. In some cases, local anesthesia is used before the injection. The needle and syringe are the same as a traditional injection.
What are the Benefits of Ultrasound Guided Injections?
Ultrasound guided injections have been shown to significantly increase injection accuracy. Injection accuracy depends on many variables, including the site of the injection, the approach taken to deliver the injection and the physician’s technical skill. Cadaveric studies, in which the exact injection site was confirmed by dissection, found that the traditional injection method had a 40-66 percent accuracy, while the ultrasound guided injections yielded 100 percent accuracy.
How do I know if I am a Candidate?
At OPTIMAL we are dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality of care. For patients who are suffering from chronic or acute injuries and are seeking conservative treatments, ultrasound guided injections may be the right choice for you.
To determine if this is the right treatment, a diagnostic exam will be done collecting patient history and a proper assessment of the injured area. In some cases, an MRI or X-ray will be required. Once this has been completed a member of our team will discuss the best treatment options for the patient.