Surgical Information

Ultrasound-Guided Joint Injections

What is an ultrasound-guided joint injection?

An ultrasound joint injection is a non-operative, outpatient procedure is designed to provide relief for patients with osteoarthritis or inflammation of the joint lining. The technique allows physicians to inject an inflammation-reducing steroid or joint lubricant with maximum accuracy.

This procedure is most often used in the shoulder, knee or hip but may also be helpful in other joints.

Studies demonstrate improved accuracy of the ultrasound-guided injections, especially those administered in a more anatomically difficult location, such as the hip or shoulder joint.

How does it work?

An ultrasound-guided joint injection is performed in the physician's office. First, a numbing medication is injected and a hand-held ultrasound probe positioned to help the physician visualize the anatomy of the joint. Next, the physician inserts the needle and guides it to the problem area using the ultrasound imagery. The medication is then injected into the joint.

Anatomy

Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. It can damage any joint in your body. Without the cushioning effect of cartilage, the bones of the joint rub together. The joint can't move easily and becomes stiff, swollen and painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks normal joint tissue, causing inflammation of the joint lining (synovium), pain, stiffness and swelling.