Ultrasound-guided therapy puts pro athletes in play

November 1, 2006

Researchers in the U.K. have found that an ultrasound-guided steroid and anesthetic injection can alleviate the pain and disability affecting soccer players with posterior ankle impingement. The minimally invasive treatment could help players recover pain-free mobility and return to the pitch sooner than conventional treatment would allow.

Dr. Philip Robinson of St. James University Hospital in Leeds and fellow researcher Dr. Steve R. Bollen of the Bradford Royal Infirmary reviewed 10 consecutive professional players who underwent MRI followed by sonography-guided injection between 2001 and 2005 (AJR 2006;187[1]:W53-58). These patients had originally sustained an inversion injury of the ankle in the neutral position and subsequently developed posterior talofibular impingement.

Patients tolerated the injection procedure without complications, showed prompt symptom improvement, and were able to return rapidly to competition.