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FAQs Ultrasound-guided MSK injections

What are ultrasound-guided MSK injections?

Ultrasound-guided MSK injections involve using ultrasound technology to accurately inject a corticosteroid medication into a target site, for example an inflamed joint, to reduce inflammation and treat pain. 

Why do different states have different rules?

MSK injections involve the injection of cortisone, which is classified as a Schedule 4 restricted drug.

Who can prescribe, administer, and hold restricted drugs is determined by state legislation and subordinate regulation. Each state or territory has its own ‘drugs and poisons’ legislation which is overseen by the relevant health agency.

Who can prescribe, administer, and hold restricted drugs varies between the jurisdictions:

  • New South Wales legislation permits medical practitioners to direct other employees to administer restricted drugs on their behalf.
  • In South Australia and Western Australia legislation does not expressly prohibit a medical practitioner from directing other employees to administer restricted drugs on their behalf.
  • In Queensland only specified health practitioners can administer restricted drugs unless an individual or entity has received a General Approval to use a regulated substance under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (Qld).
  • Victorian legislation restricts the prescription, sale, or supply of restricted drugs to registered medical practitioners, registered Chinese medicine practitioners, registered optometrists, registered podiatrists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered midwives, dentists, or veterinary practitioners only.

Why won’t my workplace let me administer ultrasound-guided MSK injections?

Administering ultrasound-guided MSK injections requires the support of your workplace.

Even if you are in a state which allows sonographers to administer restricted drugs at the direction of a medical practitioner, a supervising medical practitioner (e.g. radiologist) must still consider this an appropriate model of health care. You must also obtain the formal support of your workplace for this service delivery model.

Does ASA members’ insurance cover sonographers in administering ultrasound-guided MSK injections?


As with all other areas of sonographer practice, ASA members’ insurance provides coverage where members are practicing in accordance with:

  • state and national legislation
  • their training, scope of practice and competencies
  • described workplace protocols and at the direction of a medical practitioner.

Does the ASA offer a sonographer ultrasound-guided MSK injections course?

No, the ASA does not offer a sonographer ultrasound-guided MSK injections course.

Sonographers seeking to perform ultrasound-guided interventions should engage with their employer and refer to the relevant legislation in their State or Territory.

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