Cortisone Shots Accurate With Help From Ultrasound

CBS4—Boston—August 4, 2006

At 74 years old, Ralph Murray still runs four days a week, but recently he’s been slowed by something called Haglund’s syndrome.

It happens when both the Achilles tendon and bursa sac on the back of the heel are injured and inflamed.

One treatment option is surgery, but that can mean months of recovery without running.

The other option is a cortisone shot in the back of the heel to take away the pain and inflammation. The problem with that option is that doctors can’t see where the needle is going.

“If you do it blindly there's a much higher likelihood that you'll inject cortisone directly into the tendon. When you inject cortisone into the tendon you predispose the tendon to rupture,” said Ronald Adler, M.D., Ph.D., chief, Division of Ultrasound and Body CT, Department of Radiology and Imaging, at Hospital for Special Surgery.

To avoid that, Adler gets a closer look with ultrasound, the same thing used to examine pregnant women.

And ultrasound guided shots can be used for many conditions. “I use it for multiple different types of injections in the foot and ankle [as well as] in the knee, shoulder, elbow amd wrist,” Adler said.

Read a full version of the article and watch the accompanying segment from CBS4, Boston.

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