Ultra Sound Guided Injections
Information and Aftercare
What is an Ultrasound-Guided Injection?
Your consultant has recommended that you have an ultra sound guided injection to relieve acute or chronic pain relating to your joints or tendons. Having an injection administered under ultrasound guidance enables the area of pain to be targeted more accurately. Your injection will usually contain a combination of local anaesthetic and a small dose of steroid.
The radiologist will first perform a diagnostic scan to determine the exact location and the extent of the abnormality. Following your consent, the radiologist will clean the area overlying the site injection and, with the aid of an ultrasound probe, a small needle will be injected into the site; in the case of tendons, into the sheath around the tendon. The radiologist will normally use a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid.
After the Procedure
The area that has been injected will feel numb for a few hours after the procedure. This is due to the effect of the local anaesthetic. Once the local anaesthetic has worn off there may be some tenderness at the site of injection. The area can become more painful the day after the procedure when the anaesthetic has worn off. This can be caused by irritation from the steroid solution before the anti-inflammatory effects starts to occur. This is normal and will usually resolve over the next 24 hours. Pain killers such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ie Ibuprofen may help.
Side Effects and Complications
It is not unusual to experience worsening of your symptoms the day after injection.
Steroids can weaken the tendons at the site of injection, so please avoid strenuous activities for a few days following your procedure.
Skin changes may be observed near the site of injection, which can include discoloration and/or some loss of subcutaneous fat (this is rare, but more common in areas closer to the skin surface).
Facial flushing over the next 12 hours can occur.
Steroid may upset your blood glucose control for several days if you are diabetic.
Risk of infection, although rare, would need antibiotic cover.
Can I drive after the injection?
Although you will feel fine, it is advisable to have some with you who can drive you home or back to work.
Let Us Know
If you are diabetic.
If you are taking any blood thinning medications such as Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel.
If you have any allergies, particularly adverse reactions to local anaesthetic in the past.