Ultrasound evaluations and guided procedures of the painful joint arthroplasty

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Skeletal radiology


The purpose of this article is to describe the use of ultrasound for the diagnosis and treatment of painful joint arthroplasty. Ultrasound plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of the painful joint arthroplasty, especially given its unique dynamic capabilities, convenience, and high resolution. Ultrasound guidance is also instrumental for procedures in both diagnosing and in select cases, treating the painful joint arthroplasty. Topics to be discussed in this article include trends in arthroplasty placement, benefits of the use of ultrasound overall, and ultrasound evaluation of periprosthetic joint infections. We will also review the sonographic findings with dissociated/displaced components and adverse reaction to metallic debris including metallosis, trunnionosis, and metal-on-metal pseudotumors. Additionally, we will discuss ultrasound evaluation of tendon pathologies with arthroplasties, including dynamic maneuvers to evaluate for tendon impingement/snapping. Finally, we will cover ultrasound-guided joint arthroplasty injection indications and precautions. KEY POINTS: • Ultrasound is preferred over MRI in patients with joint arthroplasty and plays a crucial role in diagnosis, especially given its unique dynamic capabilities, convenience and high resolution. • It is especially beneficial for US-guided aspiration in periprosthetic joint infections; effectively used to evaluate periprosthetic fluid collections, facilitating differentiation between abscesses and aseptic collections, and tracking sinus tracts. • Recently, the diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections has shifted focus to biomarkers in the periprosthetic fluid, specifically α-defensin, which has a high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing infection. • Cutibacterium acnes is a major pathogen responsible for shoulder arthroplasty infections, often presenting with normal laboratory values and since slow growing, must be kept for a minimum of 14 days.

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ePub ahead of print