Three-Month Complication Rate of Ultrasound-Guided Soft Tissue Surgical Procedures Across Six Sports Medicine Clinics.

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Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine


washington; swedish


OBJECTIVES: To 1) determine the types and frequency of complications within 3 months following ultrasound-guided surgical procedures, and 2) identify any patient demographics, co-morbidities, or procedural characteristics that were associated with an increased risk of complications.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed at six Sports Medicine clinics across the United States. The Clavien-Dindo classification was used to categorize procedural complications on a 5-point scale from 1, representing any deviation in post-procedure care without requiring pharmacological or invasive treatment to 5, representing death. Generalized Estimating Equations for binomial outcomes with a logit link were used to estimate the overall and procedure-specific 3-month complication rates.

RESULTS: Among 1902 patients, 8.1% (n = 154) had diabetes and 6.3% (n = 119) were current smokers. The analysis included 2,369 procedures, which were performed in either the upper extremity (44.1%, n = 1045) or lower extremity (55.2%, n = 1308) regions. The most common procedure was ultrasound-guided tenotomy (69.9%, n = 1655). Additional procedures included, trigger finger release (13.1%, n = 310), tendon scraping (8.0%, n = 189), carpal tunnel release (5.4%, n = 128), soft tissue release (2.1%, n = 50), and compartment fasciotomy (1.6%, n = 37). Overall, there was a complication rate of 1.2% (n = 29 complications; 95% CI: 0.8-1.7%). Individual procedures had complication rates that ranged from 0 to 2.7%. There were 13 Grade I complications in 13 patients, 12 Grade II complications in 10 patients, 4 Grade III complications in 4 patients, and 0 Grade IV or V complications. No associations between complication risk and any patient demographics (age, sex, BMI), co-morbidities (diabetes, smoker), or procedure characteristics (type, region) were identified.

CONCLUSION: This retrospective review provides an evidence-based estimate supporting the low level of risk associated with ultrasound-guided surgical procedures for patients from a variety of geographical settings who are seeking care at private and academic-affiliated clinics.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine




Sports Medicine