US-guided high-volume injection for Achilles tendinopathy

George A. Kakkos1, Michail E. Klontzas1,2,3, Emmanouil Koltsakis1, Apostolos H. Karantanas1,2,3

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2021; 21: e127–e133
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2021.0021

Achilles tendinopathy is a common overuse condition affecting the adult population. The incidence is on the rise because of greater participation of people in recreational or competitive sporting activities. Chronic Achilles tendinopathy occurs most commonly in the tendon’s mid-portion, and it is challenging to manage, leading to significant patient morbidity. Despite conservative management many patients still require surgical intervention. The mechanism underlying pain is not entirely understood; however, high-resolution color Doppler ultrasound has shown that neovascularisation could be involved. Minimally-invasive treatments for chronic Achilles tendinopathy may prevent the need for surgery when conservative methods have failed. Ultrasound provides an option to guide therapeutic interventions accurately, so that treatment is delivered to the desired site of pathology. High-volume image-guided injection is a relatively new technique where a high volume of liquid is injected between the anterior aspect of the Achilles tendon and the Kager’s fat pad, used to strip away the neovascularity and disrupt the nerve ingrowth seen in chronic cases of Achilles tendinopathy. Highvolume image-guided injection has shown promising results in terms of reducing pain and improving function in patients where conservative measures have failed. This review aims to describe the fundamental technical factors, and investigate the efficacy of high-volume image-guided injection with reference to the available literature.

Achilles tendinopathy, neovascularity, ultrasound, high-volume image-guided injection