Yes, ultrasound of the joints also known as musculoskeletal ultrasound is a very useful investigation in joint pains, sports injuries and other traumas for diagnosis of your problem. It is advisable to have a specialist in the field to perform the ultrasound as it is an operator dependent investigation. When in the right hands, ultrasound can give answers as good as an MRI for many joint pathologies. For many joint related pathologies, orthopedic prefers ultrasound examination over an MRI, particularly when performed by a musculoskeletal radiologist. Dr Chaitali Parekh is a dedicated musculoskeletal interventional radiologist performing dedicated joint and sports imaging and interventions.
Ultrasound guided musculoskeletal interventions include steroid injections, Protein rich plasma (PRP) injections in and around the joints as well as synovial and other soft tissue biopsies. The injections are performed for joint pains, ligament, tendon and soft tissue injuries in order to get relief from acute and chronic pain, in sports person to return back to the game sooner and to add as an adjunct when only physiotherapy is not providing adequate benefits. Ultrasound guidance increases the accuracy and hence efficacy of these injections.
Broadly speaking, the interventions can be divided into therapeutic injections, therapeutic procedures and diagnostic procedures. They are OPD based minimally invasive procedures done with just a needle prick. Therapeutic injections include steroid or Protein rich plasma (PRP) injections done within the joints and surrounding tissues in patients with severe pain, pain not responding to physiotherapy and sports person to tide over injuries. Ultrasound guided therapeutic procedures are often performed as an alternative to surgery and provide significant relief in the pain and discomfort. Therapeutic procedures include – • Mucoid ACL fenestration Done in mucoid degeneration of anterior cruciate ligament of knee Reduces the pain and increases flexion of the knee joint • Ganglion cyst fenestration Done in wrist and fingers to relieve pain and increase the range of movements • Paralabral cyst fenestration Done in shoulder joints to fenestrate and aspirate the cyst causing symptoms. • Calcific barbotage Done in acute calcific tendinitis to get relief from severe pain and increase the range of movements. Diagnostic procedures include bone biopsies and soft tissue biopsies like synovial biopsy or biopsy of any soft tissue lesion. When done under ultrasound guidance it increases the accuracy and probability of getting positive results. Also there is an added advantage of these procedures being done with just a needle prick.
Depending upon the joint involved, clinical symptoms, clinical examination done by orthopedic surgeon and imaging findings if any, the right injection or procedure is decided by the orthopedic in conjunction with the radiologist. Visit us to get relief from your acute debilitating joint pains and to say good bye to your chronic joint pain and symptoms holding you back from your workouts and favorite sports.