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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-80

A Vascular obstacle in ultrasound-Guided hip joint injection

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3 Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eugene Y Kissin
Division of Rheumatology, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, E-506, Boston, MA 02118
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JMU.JMU_8_17

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Background: We evaluated the risk of lateral circumflex femoral artery (LCFA) injury during ultrasound-guided intra-articular hip injections. Methods: This study was divided into three parts. (1) Four ultrasound-guided hip injections were performed on human cadavers. With needles in place, tissues were dissected to expose the LCFA. (2) Ultrasound-trained rheumatologists marked a planned needle trajectory from skin to hip joint on live human ultrasound images during an Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Doppler was subsequently activated to locate the LCFA, and the distance between trajectory and arterial signal was recorded. (3) Rheumatologists certified in musculoskeletal ultrasound were surveyed about joint injection vascular complications. Results:(1) In one of the four cadaveric dissections, the needle made direct contact with the LCFA. (2) Of 27 OSCE participants, only two activated Doppler before marking simulated hip injection trajectories. Trajectories passed through LCFA Doppler signal in six (22%) cases. Mean minimal distance from trajectory to arterial signal was 4 mm (range, 0–11 mm). (3) Of 62 survey respondents, 24% stated that they did not use Doppler routinely. While none reported bleeding injuries with their patients, 16% knew of a hip injection-related vascular complication performed by another provider. Conclusion: There is a risk of LCFA injury during ultrasound-guided hip joint injection. Routine use of Doppler should be considered in standard hip injection protocols.

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