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Ultrasound-guided musculoskeletal interventional procedures around the shoulder

Silvia Tortora1, Carmelo Messina2, Salvatore Gitto3, Vito Chianca4,5,

Francesca Serpi1, Angelo Gambino2, Luigi Pedone2, Gianpaolo Carrafiello6,7,

Luca Maria Sconfienza2,3, Domenico Albano2,8

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2021; 21: e162–e168
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2021.0026

Ultrasound is a fast, accessible, reliable, and radiation-free imaging modality routinely used to assess the soft tissues around the shoulder. It enables to identify a wide range of pathological conditions. Furthermore, most ultrasound-guided musculoskeletal interventional procedures around the shoulder produce better results in terms of accuracy and clinical efficacy than those performed in a blinded fashion. Indeed, intra-articular and peri-articular interventional procedures can be easily performed under continuous ultrasound monitoring to ensure the correct position of the needle and to deliver the medication to a specific target. Several technical approaches and medications can be used to treat different causes of painful shoulder. Intra-articular injections are applied to treat acromioclavicular osteoarthritis as well as glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis and adhesive capsulitis. Subacromialsubdeltoid bursitis, either presenting as a primary inflammatory condition or secondary to rotator cuff disorders, can be easily approached using ultrasound guidance to aspirate synovial effusion and to inject medications. Ultrasound-guided percutaneous irrigation is a well-established technique increasingly applied to treat patients with rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy. Also, degenerative rotator cuff tendinopathy can be conservatively treated by image-guided interventions, specifically with needling under ultrasound guidance that can be associated with injections of platelet-rich plasma. Lastly, periarticular peripheral nerve block can be quickly and safely performed under ultrasound guidance, particularly in conditions involving the suprascapular nerve in the setting of pre-operative analgesia or pain treatment in glenohumeral osteoarthritis and adhesive capsulitis. In this article, the most common ultrasound-guided procedures around the shoulder have been reviewed to discuss indications and techniques.

shoulder, ultrasound, interventional radiology, injections