Ultrasound Guided Injection

Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. These pictures help us to diagnose things like sprains, strains and tears within the soft tissues.

An ultrasound guided injection allows the Radiologist to inject medication directly and accurately into the affected area.

Most commonly we inject a local anaesthetic plus a steroid, viscosupplement or Botox into the affected area.

Who will be carrying out the procedure?

A Consultant Radiologist or a Consultant Pain Clinician specially trained in ultrasound guided injections carries out the procedure.

What do I need to do to prepare?

The area being examined will need to be visible so wearing shorts for lower limb examinations, or a vest top for shoulder or arm exams can make you more comfortable. Otherwise, we are more than happy to provide you with a gown.

If you are taking medication to prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants), your referring Consultant will make the necessary arrangements for temporarily stopping the treatment.

Please inform the Radiologist if you are diabetic as a steroid injection may temporarily affect your blood sugar levels.

Please let us know if you are known to have allergies to any medication, particularly to local anaesthetic/steroids/hyaluronic acid preps.

What happens before my examination?

Your Consultant will have discussed the reason for you needing an injection, and specific after care. The Radiologist/Clinician carrying out the ultrasound and injection will explain the procedure again and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions at this stage.

Once you feel comfortable we will ask you to sign a consent form.

What will happen during the procedure?

You will be positioned sitting or lying on the examination couch. Ultrasound will be used to confirm the diagnosis from your Consultant.

Your skin around where we will inject will be cleaned with antiseptic solution. A small amount of local anaesthetic may be administered to the skin depending upon the site of injection.

The Radiologist/Clinician will then inject the medication under ultrasound guidance. A small plaster will be placed over the injection site, this can be removed the next day.

The whole procedure usually takes between 15-20 minutes.

How will I feel after the injection?

You may have some numbness or weakness after the injection that may last for a few hours due to the local anaesthetic.

You should not have any pain for the first few hours. However, when the local anaesthetic wears off, your pain may return. Sometimes this initial pain can be a little worse than before the injection. This generally settles within 48 hours, you can take regular analgesics such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen if required.

Most people notice an improvement in their symptoms within 2-3 weeks. The benefit can last for months or may be permanent.

Your referring Consultant will be able to discuss specific after care with you, as for each person and procedure this may differ.

What are the benefits of this injection?

Ultrasound guided injections are safe and simple. They effectively reduce pain and inflammation to your affected area, in a minimally invasive way.

What are the risks?

With any injection there is a small risk of infection. Please contact The London Orthopaedic clinic or your own GP, if you notice the area is hot or swollen or you develop a fever in the days after the injection. Other rare possible side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction to local anaesthetic or steroid
  • Increase in blood sugar levels for diabetic patients
  • Steroid flare-up (increase in pain for a day or two)
  • Changes in colour of the skin around the injection site or dimpling of the skin
  • Vaginal bleeding or temporary change in menstrual cycle

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any specific queries or concerns, or for more information please contact your Consultant or a member of the clinical team:
London Orthopaedic Clinic,
First Floor, King Edward VII’s Hospital,
5-10 Beaumont Street, London W1G 6AA