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Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Feb 22;6(2):2325967118756576. doi: 10.1177/2325967118756576. eCollection 2018 Feb.

Existing Evidence on Ultrasound-Guided Injections in Sports Medicine.

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Department of Family Community Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.
Department of Orthopaedics, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.


Office-based ultrasonography has become increasingly available in many settings, and its use to guide joint and soft tissue injections has increased. Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the use of ultrasound-guided injections over traditional landmark-guided injections, with a rapid growth in the literature over the past few years. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to demonstrate increased accuracy of ultrasound-guided injections regardless of anatomic location. In the upper extremity, ultrasound-guided injections have been shown to provide superior benefit to landmark-guided injections at the glenohumeral joint, the subacromial space, the biceps tendon sheath, and the joints of the hand and wrist. Ultrasound-guided injections of the acromioclavicular and the elbow joints have not been shown to be more efficacious. In the lower extremity, ultrasound-guided injections at the knee, ankle, and foot have superior efficacy to landmark-guided injections. Conclusive evidence is not available regarding improved efficacy of ultrasound-guided injections of the hip, although landmark-guided injection is performed less commonly at the hip joint. Ultrasound-guided injections are overall more accurate than landmark-guided injections. While current studies indicate that ultrasound guidance improves efficacy and cost-effectiveness of many injections, these studies are limited and more research is needed.


joint injection; musculoskeletal ultrasonography; osteoarthritis; sports medicine; tendinopathy; ultrasound-guided injection

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest in the authorship and publication of this contribution.

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