We inject a small amount of cortisone steroid and anaesthetic into a joint or soft tissue (bursa) to temporarily reduce inflammation and pain. It is common in areas such as shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, elbows etc. The needle we use is smaller than a needle used for a blood test.
A radiologist will do the procedure under the guidance of ultrasound or CT, which provides the image of the body tissue location, and an accurate visualisation of where the needle supplying the cortisone needs to be directed.
An injection is usually performed after previous imaging such as an x-ray or ultrasound has diagnosed the problem, and the radiologist has confirmed exactly where the injection will be.
Injections are usually quite safe, and it is very rare that complications would arise. The steroid can sting for a few seconds while it is being injected, but this quickly goes away. You may have some pain at the injection site for the rest of the day. If you notice persistent pain, redness or swelling at the injection site or if you have a fever over the next few days, please call your doctor.
Try to rest the joint or area that has been injected for 24 hours after the injection.
There is no preparation for an injection. Sometimes before a radiologist will perform the procedure, they may request blood thinning medication to be ceased being taken. If this is the case, The receptionist will let you know which medication needs to be stopped and for how long.