If your swollen or painful joints, ligaments or tendons do not respond to conservative treatments your consultant may recommend image guided joint injections.
What happens during image guided joint injections?
An image guided joint injection usually takes 15-30 minutes and is done on a day case meaning you will go home on the day of the procedure. You will be awake during your injection.
Your consultant will use a CT scan or ultrasound scanner to guide the injection into the exact area needing relief. The skin in area to be injected will be cleaned and a local anaesthetic may be injected. A very fine needle will be guided into the joint where a combination of steroid medication to reduce inflammation and anaesthetic is injected.
Recovery from the injection will depend on what area is being treated. We may ask you to wait awhile following your injection to ensure you have no reaction to the medications used.
Going home after image guided joint injections
The anaesthetic injected into your joint may provide temporary pain relief for 4-6 hours. It can take several days for the steroid to begin to take effect. Maximum effectiveness can take up to 10 days.
The injection may aggravate the area around your joint. Take over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol if needed. Occasionally patients feel numbness or weakness in the area.
You should rest the injected area for 24 – 48 hours after your injection.
Image guided joint injections are a minimally invasive procedure. Very rarely there can be side effects such as:
- Bleeding into the joint
- Allergy to the medications used
- Numbness or weakness
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