Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections may help treat severe hip pain

December 22, 2009

Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections may be an effective treatment method for gluteus medius tendinopathy, a common, painful condition caused by an injury to the tendons in the buttocks that typically affects middle-aged to elderly women and young active individuals, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Gluteus medius tendinopathy can cause severe hip pain. "The underlying causes remain unclear but probably are multi-factorial and involve mechanical and degenerative processes," said Etienne Cardinal, MD, lead author of the study. Medical treatment usually includes physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and local injections of corticosteroids.

The study, performed at the University of Montreal's Hospital Center, included 54 patients with gluteus medius tendinopathy. Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections were performed on all patients. "One month after treatment, 72 percent of the patients showed a clinically significant improvement in pain level. Seventy percent of patients were satisfied with the results of the intervention," said Cardinal.

"The use of ultrasound for guiding musculoskeletal procedures has increased over the past several years. Advantages of ultrasound over fluoroscopy include its soft-tissue imaging capabilities that allow a diagnostic study to be performed before cortisone injection," he said.

"This noninvasive, nonionizing imaging technique allows continuous monitoring of the needle position, which facilitates the performance of safe and precise cortisone injections," said Cardinal.
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This study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@acr-arrs.org or at 703-390-9822.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

American College of Radiology

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