An Accurate Full-flexion Anterolateral Portal for Needle Placement in the Knee Joint With Dry Osteoarthritis

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Abstract

Introduction:

Accurate delivery of an injection into the intra-articular space of the knee is achieved in only two thirds of knees when using the standard anterolateral portal. The use of a modified full-flexion anterolateral portal provides a highly accurate, less painful, and more effective method for reproducible intra-articular injection without the need for ultrasonographic or fluoroscopic guidance in patients with dry osteoarthritis of the knee.

Methods:

The accuracy of needle placement was assessed in a prospective series of 140 consecutive injections in patients with symptomatic degenerative knee arthritis without clinical knee effusion. Procedural pain was determined using the Numerical Rating Scale. The accuracy rates of needle placement were confirmed with fluoroscopic imaging to document the dispersion pattern of injected contrast material.

Results:

Using the standard anterolateral portal, 52 of 70 injections were confirmed to have been placed in the intra-articular space on the first attempt (accuracy rate, 74.2%). Using the modified full-flexion anterolateral portal, 68 of 70 injections were placed in the intra-articular space on the first attempt (accuracy rate, 97.1%; P = 0.000).

Conclusion:

This study revealed that using the modified full-flexion anterolateral portal for injections into the knee joint resulted in more accurate and less painful injections than those performed by the same orthopaedic surgeon using the standard anterolateral portal. In addition, the technique offered therapeutic delivery into the joint without the need for fluoroscopic confirmation.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level II

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