Sonographically guided sternoclavicular joint injection: Description of technique and validation

Adam M. Pourcho, Jacob L. Sellon, Jay Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives - The primary purpose of this investigation was to describe and validate a sonographically guided technique for injecting the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) using a cadaveric model. Methods - A single experienced operator (J.S.) completed 13 sonographically guided SCJ injections on 7 unembalmed cadaveric specimens (4 male and 3 female) using an out-of-plane, caudad-to-cephalad technique to place 1 mL of diluted blue latex into the joint. Within 72 hours, study coinvestigators dissected each specimen to determine the injectate location. Results - All 13 injections accurately placed latex into the SCJ with a predilection for the clavicular side (accuracy, 100%; 95% confidence interval, 73%-100%). Three injections (23%) placed all latex on the clavicular side of the SCJ in the presence of a complete intra-articular disk. Dissection revealed incomplete degenerated disks in the remaining 10 joints. Seven of these injections (54%) clearly placed more than 80% of the latex on the clavicular side, whereas the remaining 3 injections (23%) showed nearly equal latex distribution between the clavicular and sternal sides. No injection resulted in neurovascular injury or extracapsular flow. Conclusions - Sonographically guided SCJ injections can be considered in the diagnosis and management of patients presenting with medial shoulder pain syndromes and, using the technique described herein, have a predilection to target the clavicular portion of the joint. In younger patients with possible complete intra-articular disks or in patients with sternal-side conditions, practitioners should consider confirming sternal-side flow after injection or attempt to specifically target the sternal side of the joint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Injections
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound
  • Shoulder
  • Sonography
  • Sternoclavicular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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