OBJECTIVE. Because the second and third tarsometatarsal (TMT) and naviculocuneiform joints normally communicate, the least arthritic or technically most straightforward joint was injected when a fluoroscopically guided therapeutic injection was ordered for one or both joints. We hypothesized that pain relief would be equivalent regardless of the joint injected and would result in less radiation and a lower steroid dose compared with patients who had both articulations injected. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Seventy-eight patients were divided into four joint groups: naviculocuneiform requested and injected (n = 15), nonrequested naviculocuneiform or second and third TMT injected (n = 25), both injected (n = 23), and TMT requested and injected (n = 15). Variables recorded included patient age and sex, fluoroscopy time, steroid dose, pre- and postprocedural pain, osteoarthrosis (OA) grade, and confidence of intraarticular injection. Statistical analysis compared mean pain level change before and after injection, mean fluoroscopy time, and mean steroid dose between groups. The mean OA grade of the nonrequested joint was compared with that of the requested joint in patients whose injected and requested joints did not match (group 2). RESULTS. Pre- and postinjection pain reduction (p = 0.630) and postinjection pain (p = 0.935) were not significantly different. Mean steroid dose (p < 0.001) and fluoroscopy time (p = 0.0001) were significantly increased for the both joint injection group. Within the nonrequested naviculocuneiform or second and third TMT injection group, there was a significant difference in OA grade between injected (least arthritic) and requested joints (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION. When faced with challenging naviculocuneiform or second and third TMT joint injections, choosing the technically most straightforward joint may result in less radiation and steroid dose without compromising quality of care or pain reduction.
- Third tarsometatarsal joints
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging