Ultrasound-guided L5/S1 in Intradiscal Needle Placement Using Biplanar Approach with the Patient in the Lateral Decubitus Position: A Report of Three Cases

Stanley K. H. Lam, Chen-Yu Hung, Tsung-Ju Wu

Wiley Online Library & PubMed, 2021



The use of ultrasound (US)-guided intradiscal injection has been described in the literature with the patient lying in the prone position; however, many patients are unable to lie in the prone position. Therefore, we describe an innovative technique of US-guided platelet-rich plasma (PRP) administration in the lumbar intervertebral disc (IVD) of 3 patients with chronic lower back pain who failed to improve with conservative management.

Case Series

For all the 3 patients, magnetic resonance imaging showed annular tears of the L5/S1 IVD with broad-based central posterior protrusions. PRP injection was performed with the patients in the lateral decubitus position or modified recovery position. With the transducer initially placed in the short axis to the lumbar spine, the needle was inserted in-plane to the IVD, with the needle trajectory clearly visualized. Once the needle entered the annulus fibrosus, placement of the needle was confirmed by turning the transducer along the long axis of the spine to validate the location of the needle tip inside the IVD. Discus stimulation was performed with contrast administered to elicit each patient’s usual pain, and spread of the contrast was confirmed under fluoroscopy. Upon confirmation of the intradiscal location, 3 ml of PRP was administered.


This report described a novel technique demonstrating that US-guided lumbar intradiscal needle placement for PRP administration in patients lying in the lateral decubitus position is feasible.

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