What is an Ultrasound-Guided-Injection?
We use an ultrasound scanner to identify the cause of your pain and when appropriate, we can then inject at exactly the right place to help alleviate your symptoms.
What do we inject?
Corticosteroids, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic acid and PRP sounds scary but we actually have it in our bodies already! Our skin is up to 55% Hyaluronic acid so it is an essential part of our make up. PRP is made from our own blood plasma and helps tissue regeneration.
Corticosteroid injections are an excellent treatment for Inflammed joints, tendon sheaths and for individuals with chronic joint pain conditions eg Inflammatory arthritis like Rheumatoid. They are a synthetic version of the body’s own glucocorticoids that help regulate the inflammatory process. They are a strong anti-inflammatory agent which will usually help reduce pain and swelling in the right conditions.
Hyaluronic Acid injections are becoming increasingly popular for individuals with joint pain. Hyaluronic Acid has less harmful effects than cortisone on joints and tendons and the effects can last much longer. For those individuals experiencing pain in a joint that is not responding to conservative treatment, it could offer an alternative option as it is a quick and simple procedure. The other benefit of using Hyaluronic acid is that it can be repeated without long term detrimental effects to a joint or tendon like cortisone can have.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are a type of therapy that involves using the patients own blood constituents to create an injectable product that helps with various soft tissue and joint problems. It can give long lasting reduction in pain associated with tendon, ligament and joint degeneration. As the process involves using no other products apart from the patients own platelets and growth factors to help healing in the tissue, it is popular for those who want to avoid artificial interventions or surgery. It is also a popular option if you have tried a range of other therapies but are still struggling. It is important to stress that it is still paramount that it accompanies a structured rehabilitation strengthening plan to achieve the best results.
So what is it?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a Gel like substance that is naturally present throughout the human body. Its role is to retain water and keep tissues moist and well lubricated. It is also a natural part of the fluid that lubricates your joints.
Here are 3 key reasons why you should consider a HA injection for your painful joint.
- Lubrication. Hyaluronic acid binds well to water, producing a viscous, jelly-like consistency. This viscous fluid provides lubrication and also acts as a shock absorber within the joint.
- Transport medium for nutrients into the joint. This is what can keep the joint surfaces healthier for longer.
- Reducing inflammation. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in reducing joint inflammation and pain caused by injury or tissue degeneration. The better quality the lubricating fluid is in the joint the less inflammed your joints will become.
You can read more about Hyaluronic acid injections here.
PRP is made up from your own body’s blood constituents so the first step is to draw blood from the patient (usually a vein in the arm). This is exactly like having a blood test. The blood is then spun very quickly using a specialist piece of equipment known as a centrifuge. This process causes the various constituents in the blood to separate into separate layers. One specific layer of the separated blood is plasma which will contain 2-5 times the usual number of platelets for a similar sample of normal blood. This layer is then extracted into a syringe ready to be injected back into the damaged area to stimulate healing.
Here are some key reasons why you should consider a PRP injection for your painful joint or tendon.
Research shows that a series of PRP injections can give an excellent outcome for pain relief in knee Osteoarthritis.
- It’s your own platelets and growth factors in high concentrations that are used to treat your injury
- There are no artificial products or drugs used in this therapy so it’s as close to nature as you can get!
- We can combine PRP with Hyaluronic acid in one syringe to maximise the benefits of both therapies
Does it hurt?
Not really! Using the ultrasound helps guide us to be as accurate as possible making it a more comfortable procedure than injecting “blind”. This means it will have its best potential for working too. Obviously with any injection there is always a little discomfort at the start.
You could consider having an injection of Corticosteroid if:
- You have severe joint pain eg Frozen shoulder or severe arthritis in a one of your joints
- You have a painful tendon sheath not responding to conservative treatments eg De Quervains.
You could consider having an injection of Hyaluronic acid or PRP if:
- You have arthritis in a one of your joints and you do not want a steroid injection or to avoid having surgery prematurely.
- You have a painful stiff tendon not responding to conservative treatments.
To have an assessment and discussion with us about if this treatment is suitable for you please use the button below.