Determining the exact cause of your pain.
In the past, when a physician administered an injection to a patient suffering neck, back, tendon, or joint pain, it was necessary for them to rely on their experience, their knowledge of anatomy, and physical touch to determine whether the needle was in the right place. This was considered an anatomical or ‘blind’ approach as it was impossible to visualize the location of the needle once it penetrates the skin.
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound technology now means that this need not be the case. As with prenatal ultrasound, this process uses a small probe, covered with gel, to translate sound waves from a patient’s soft tissue and bone into real-time images. This means your doctor can “see” your tendons, muscles, nerves, or bones and get a clear picture of exactly what is causing you pain.
This is particularly helpful when administering targeted injections. For example, a joint injection must be administered within the joint space and not into the surrounding soft tissue. Musculoskeletal Ultrasound means that, not only can your doctor get the needle position exactly right, they can even see the medication as it is being administered into the joint or affected area. This is particularly helpful when the affected area is in an anatomically-difficult location such as a hip joint or deep tendon.
Dr. Spinner is a world-leading expert in this technology. He wrote the first textbook on the topic “Atlas of Ultrasound Guided Musculoskeletal Injections”, lectures nationally on the subject, and is doing continued research on the technology.
- Musculoskeletal Ultrasound can be done in a doctor’s office, with no need to go to a distant imaging center
- The procedure is non-invasive and uses no ionizing radiation
- Commonly-injected medications can include cortisone, joint lubricant, or local anaesthetic
- The goal with Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is to diagnose the problem, reduce your pain, and get you back to normal life as soon as possible.
- Conditions which can be diagnosed with Ultrasound include, but are not limited to:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- The presence of foreign bodies