Ultrasound guided joint injections

Why do I need an injection?

You are suffering with a chronic musculoskeletal problem and may have already sought medical help from one or more of the following professionals:

  • GP
  • Physiotherapist
  • Rheumatologist
  • Sports & Exercise medicine physician
  • Orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Image-guided steroid injections can reduce your pain and increase your range of movement for up 6 months. They can be given as part of other treatments such as physiotherapy, exercise prescription, orthotics and splints.

    Patients suffering with frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, Morton’s neuroma and osteoarthritis may choose to have an injection to delay or as an alternative to surgery.

    For some patients having an injection will mean they can maintain their healthy active lifestyles and for others, it will reduce the burden of chronic pain allowing them focus on other important areas of life.

What happens during my procedure?

Dr Sarkodieh will place an ultrasound probe on the problem area and use the images on his ultrasound screen to guide where he will place the needle. Once he has confirmed correct needle positioning he will then inject the mixture of steroid and local anaesthetic.

The benefit of using ultrasound to guide your injection is that Dr Sarkodieh, using his expert knowledge of radiological anatomy and pathology, will visualise exactly where the tip of his needle is positioned before starting your injection. This ensures that the mixture is delivered to the painful stimulus in relation to your specific condition. At the same time is minimises the risk of causing damage to other structures by injecting the mixture into the surrounding tissues.

Patients commonly report that their image-guided injections have been much less painful than their previous injections to the same region without image guidance.

How long does it last?

The effects of the steroid are expected to begin after 48 hours and last for 3-6 months.

How many injections can I have?

You can have up to 3 injections for your condition in one year. The time between injections should be no less than 6 weeks.

Are there any risks / side effects?

Occasionally patients experience a temporary increase in pain 24-48 hours after the injection. On rare occasions, the symptoms may last up to a week. You can take pain-relieving tablets to manage this. You are advised not to perform strenuous activities during the first 48 hours.

If you have diabetes, the steroid may increase your blood sugar for 2-3 days. You are advised to monitor your levels closely during this time.

For joint injections, there is a very small risk of joint infection. The symptoms of this include a high temperature, excessive joint pain, poor range of movement, swelling and redness. This complication is extremely rare however, you are advised to urgently seek medical advice if you develop these symptoms.