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Tech Reg Anesth Pain Manag. 2007 Jul;11(3):141-147.

COMPLICATIONS OF JOINT, TENDON, AND MUSCLE INJECTIONS.

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1
Department of Pain Management, Division of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Comprehensive Pain Management, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Abstract

Prevention of complications is one of the most important aspects of patient care in pain management. The objective of this study is to review documented complications in medical literature that are associated with interventional pain management, specifically those associated with joint, tendon, and muscle injections. We conducted Medline research from 1966 to November 2006 using keywords complication, injection, radiofrequency, closed claim, facet, zygophyseal joint, sacroiliac joint, shoulder, hip, knee, carpel tunnel, bursa, and trigger point. We found over 35 relevant papers in forms of original articles, case reports, and reviews. The most common complications appear to be infections that have been associated with virtually all of these injections. These infections include spondylodiscitis, septic arthritis, epidural abscess, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis, gas gangrene, and albicans arthritis. Other complications include spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injuries, pneumothorax, air embolism, pain or swelling at the site of injection, chemical meningism, granulomatous inflammation of the synovium, aseptic acute arthritis, embolia cutis medicamentosa, skeletal muscle toxicity, and tendon and fascial ruptures. We suggest that many of the infectious complications may be preventable by strict adherence to aseptic techniques and that some of the other complications may be minimized by refining the procedural techniques with a clear understanding of the relevant anatomies.

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