The short-term effects of high volume image guided injections in resistant non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy

J Sci Med Sport. 2010 May;13(3):295-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2009.09.007. Epub 2009 Nov 27.


We investigated neovascularisation, tendon thickness and clinical function in chronic resistant Achilles tendinopathy following high volume image guided injections (HVIGI). The subjects involved 11 athletes (mean age 43.5 years+/-11.6, range 22-59) with resistant tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon for a mean of 51.4 months (+/-55.56, range 4-144) who failed to improve with an eccentric loading program (mean 11.8 months+/-2.6, range 8-16). The morphological features, neovascularisation and maximal tendon thickness were assessed with power Doppler ultrasound. Clinical function was measured with the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles tendon (VISA-A) questionnaire. All the tendinopathic Achilles tendons were injected with 10 mL of 0.5% bupivacaine hydrochloride, 25 mg of hydrocortisone acetate, and 40 mL of 0.9% NaCl saline solution under real time ultrasound guidance. All outcome measures were recorded at baseline and after a short-term follow-up (mean 2.9 weeks, range 2-4). The results showed a statistically significant difference between baseline and 3-week follow-up in all the outcome measures after HVIGI. The grade of neovascularisation reduced (3-1.1, p=0.003), the maximal tendon diameter decreased (8.7-7.6 mm, p<0.001), and the VISA-A scores improved (46.3-84.1, p<0.001). In conclusion, HVIGI for resistant tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon is effective to improve symptoms, reduce neovascularisation, and decrease maximal tendon thickness at short-term follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / diagnostic imaging
  • Achilles Tendon / drug effects*
  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacology
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage
  • Bupivacaine / pharmacology
  • Bupivacaine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / administration & dosage
  • Hydrocortisone / pharmacology
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use*
  • Injections / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendinopathy / drug therapy*
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Bupivacaine