JOURNAL ARTICLE

Fluoroscopically guided low-volume peritendinous corticosteroid injection for Achilles tendinopathy. A safety study

Sanjitpal S Gill, Martin K Gelbke, Steve L Mattson, Mark W Anderson, Shepard R Hurwitz
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2004, 86-A (4): 802-6
15069147

BACKGROUND: The safety and efficacy of corticosteroid injection for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy is not known, with some reports indicating the hazard of tendon rupture and others extolling the efficacy of such injections. This study was undertaken to assess the safety of fluoroscopically guided corticosteroid injections into the peritendinous space for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy.

METHODS: A series of patients was treated with fluoroscopically guided corticosteroid injections into the space surrounding the Achilles tendon. Major and minor complications were recorded, as were the number of repeat injections, the duration of symptomatic relief attained with the injection, and a subjective rating of symptoms related to the Achilles tendon.

RESULTS: Of eighty-three patients who had been treated, seventy-eight were available for follow-up and forty-three met our requirement for a minimum two-year follow-up (average duration of follow-up, 37.4 months). No major complications and one minor complication occurred in the forty-three patients. Seventeen (40%) of the patients reported improvement after the procedure, twenty-three (53%) thought that their condition was unchanged, and three (7%) felt that their condition was worse than it had been prior to the injection.

CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective cohort study establishes the safety of low-volume injections of corticosteroids for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy when the needle is carefully inserted into the peritendinous space under direct fluoroscopic visualization.

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