Ultrasound guided injections are an advanced, precise way to deliver effective medications to targeted areas of the body. Many patients suffering from chronic, debilitating pain (such as that caused by inflammation of a tendon or joint), find that they are able to return to previous activity levels after precision injections, enjoying both a reduction in pain and an increase in their range of motion. Certain forms of treatment, such as viscosupplementation therapy (which involves adding hyaluronic acid to supplement the amount of protective synovial fluid in a given joint) can provide relief for as much as six months to a year after treatment.
How an Ultrasound Guided Injection Works
During the procedure, one of our highly trained orthopedic specialists employs a sophisticated imaging system and ultrasound to pinpoint the exact source/area of your pain. Some patients, for example, suffer from painful joints due to a condition known as synovitis (inflammation of lining of the joints).
Using the ultrasound scanner and a special gel, the doctor runs a smooth, hand-held probe over the affected area. The scanner uses pulses of sound, much like bats use echo-location, to build a virtual image of otherwise hidden internal structures, providing real-time visual confirmation and feedback regarding blood vessels, nerves, and other structures.
Once located, the doctor will administer a dose of medication to the area causing your pain and stiffness. In the past, doctors relied on “blind” injections or had to reference previously taken X-rays, but they were often not as effective because the medication was diffused into surrounding tissues. Advancing imaging technologies now allow medications to deliver the active ingredients to the specific area required. Ultrasound guided injections are also safer because they allow the doctor to locate even smaller pain areas or nerve clusters, where treatment has been more difficult, without disrupting surrounding structures and tissues.
Precise targeting allows your doctor to inject medications, such as steroid based anti-inflammatories, pain relieving medications, hyaluronic acid (HA), or other medication, into specific areas like the knee joint, shoulder, wrist, elbow, or tendon sheath. This helps to ensure that more of the active medication is concentrated in the specific location where it will be most effective in reducing your chronic pain.
Depending on your exact needs, the procedure may need to be repeated on a specific schedule. Your doctor may also provide a local anesthetic to the injection area to increase your comfort levels. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of ultrasound guided injections, or to learn more about any of our innovative orthopedic treatments, please call Powell & Jones Orthopedics Center at (205) 877-9191 for more information, or request an appointment online. We aim to provide the best and most innovative orthopedic treatment to our friends in the Birmingham, Alabama area, and get you up and running again.