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Ultrasound guided sclerosis of neovessels in painful chronic Achilles tendinosis: pilot study of a new treatment
  1. L Öhberg1,
  2. H Alfredson2
  1. 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Umea, S-901 85 Umea, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Surgical and Perioperative Science, Sports Medicine, University of Umea
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Öhberg, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Umea S-901 85 Umea, Sweden;{at}


Background: The mechanism that causes pain in chronic Achilles tendinosis is not known. However, high resolution colour Doppler ultrasound has shown that neovascularisation may be involved.

Objective: To investigate if sclerosing the neovessels would affect the level of tendon pain.

Methods: The effect of colour Doppler ultrasound guided injection of a sclerosing agent, polidocanol, against neovessels was studied in 10 patients (seven men and three women, mean age 55 years) with painful chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinosis.

Results: Eight patients were satisfied with the results of treatment. There was significantly reduced pain during activity (reported on a visual analogue scale (VAS)) and no remaining neovascularisation after an average of two injections. Two patients were not satisfied, and neovascularisation remained. At the six month follow up, the same eight patients remained satisfied and could perform Achilles tendon loading activities as desired. Their VAS score had decreased from 74 before treatment to 8 (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Sclerosing neovessels appears to be an effective treatment for painful chronic Achilles tendinosis, suggesting that neovessels play a key part in causing chronic tendon pain.

  • Achilles tendinosis
  • pain
  • ultrasonography
  • neovessels
  • sclerosis

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