What is an ultrasound-guided injection?
This is a procedure that utilizes ultrasound to guide the needle into the site of pain.
How do I need to prepare?
You will need to speak with your physician before the procedure, if any of the following applies to you:
You are on blood thinning medication such as warfarin, clopidogrel, aspirin, rivaroxaban
You have been recently taking antibiotics or you are still taking antibiotics
You have an ongoing infection
Any allergies to medications
You are or might be pregnant
We advise you to bring someone along with you, as you may not be allowed to drive after the procedure.
In the procedure room:
You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
The radiologist will carry out the procedure. A small amount of gel will be used on the skin. The procedure commences with an ultrasound examination to identify the exact area to be targeted with the injection. Using sterile technique and always under ultrasound guidance, a needle will then be used to inject local anaesthetic and/or a steroid into the site of concern.
A dressing will be applied at the end of the procedure. This needs to be kept dry and clean for the rest of the day.
After the scan - important aftercare:
Strenuous activity should be avoided for a few days after the procedure. Normal pain relief medication can be taken, as the area may be sore for the first few days.
You may experience worsening of symptoms during the following 24 to 48 hours. This is secondary to the steroid medication and is denotated as a steroid flare. Normal pain relief medication can be taken to alleviate this. If the pain continues to increase, please seek medical assistance.
Steroid injections may occasionally cause thinning and colour alteration of the skin at the injection site. For diabetic patients, a rise in blood sugar levels may occur after the procedure due to the steroid medication injected.
Compiled by Dr. Veronica Attard