Interventional radiology refers to the medical discipline of using medical imaging to guide procedures like spinal and joint injections.
Such injections are often used to treat and manage a range of painful conditions.
Using ultrasound and computer tomography (CT), information is provided to the radiologist in real-time while they manipulate the needle.
This allows for greater accuracy not possible with X-ray and fluoroscopy traditionally used in pain management and provides relief for conditions that in years gone by was impossible to achieve.
Hunter Radiology provides a range of pain management procedures including image-guided injections, to help patients with their pain.
Targeted corticosteroid (Cortisone) injections at specific locations, that are causing pain, can help ease inflammation and remove or significantly improve the patients pain and suffering, Dr Elizabeth Holt, from Hunter Radiology, said.
We perform simple ultrasound-guided injections for musculoskeletal pain related to bursae, tendons, ligaments and joints. A common example of this is an ultrasound-guided injection into the shoulder bursa to help with pain related to rotator cuff injury/degeneration or osteoarthritis.
We also perform more complex spinal injections with CT guidance, providing for greater accuracy. Our experienced specialists can target injections with high accuracy directly to the point of pain, whether it is from a disc or joint in the neck or back.
The clinical radiologists at Hunter Radiology make full use of the latest technology to diagnose the cause of pain.
Clinical examination, X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI and Nuclear Medicine studies are all used by highly trained specialists to diagnose where pain is being generated.
Ultrasound is ideal for soft tissues such as bursae, tendons and small joints, Dr Holt said. CT and MRI are excellent at imaging the spine and diagnosing pain caused by disc disease and/or spine arthritis.
Depending on the structure being treated both ultrasound and CT are used to provide highly accurate injections.
Clinical radiologist Dr Houman Ebrahimi takes a special interest in interventional procedures, such as corticosteroid injections, for the treatment of neck or cervical spine pain.
These injections can be very effective but are complex requiring careful preparation and planning in direct consultation with the patient and the referring doctor. Results are excellent providing relief from painful spinal conditions otherwise untreatable or intolerable.
Patients will initially have appropriate diagnostic scans of the body region causing pain, Dr Holt explained.
As with all scans these images are reviewed by our radiologists and a report sent back to the patients doctor.
The imaging studies, reports and a focused clinical examination by the GP or our clinical radiologist will help to pinpoint the area causing pain that can be alleviated with image guided injections.
In some complicated cases the patient can be referred to Dr Ebrahimi, who will review the images and suggest a course of action to help the patient with their pain. This might include further imaging and corticosteroid.
Hunter Radiology is an independent radiology partnership with three practices; Hunter St, Newcastle, Lake Road, Glendale and the Salamander Bay Shopping Centre, Salamander Bay.
For more information, visit www.hunterradiology.com.au.