Making a Sound Investment: Ultrasound Guided Injections vs. Free Hand & Fluoroscopy

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Sports medicine facilities, pain management centers, podiatrists, chiropractors…what do all of these, and many other medical specialties have in common? Injections.

In the past, injections were always carried out either blind or guided by fluoroscopy. However, within the past few years, sonography has been offering an interesting alternative. The use of ultrasound gives you the ability to continuously visualize the needle tip for procedural accuracy and safety.

Aside from the obvious advantage of a billable procedure adding to a physician’s revenue stream, ultrasound guided injections are a relatively inexpensive technique, without exposing the patient to radiation. Thanks to high frequency transducers, there’s been a great deal of technical progress and performance improvements to both diagnosis and treatment. Ultrasound gives physicians the ability to visualize and inject without effusion, and without contrast. This real-time visualization allows the avoidance of unnecessary damages to arteries, nerves, vessels and other structures.

Portable and affordable, the ultrasound equipment provided by USC has accelerated interest in the use of ultrasound guidance. Blind injections on a correctly identified target still present the challenge of placement on the optimal site. The smaller and deeper the target, the greater the challenge and potential usefulness adding ultrasound to any physicians current skill set.

Ultrasound machine guidance of injections leads to almost optimum precision and safety without the use of ionizing radiation, the risk of allergy to iodine-based contrast media, and blind injection error. Our customers using ultrasound guidance see a 90% or better success rate with their injections, avoiding unnecessary damage and keeping the procedure as minimally invasive as possible – which keeps the patients happy! This technique will hold an increasingly important role in the arsenal of treatments for pain and disease for any physician during the lifetime of their practice.