Ultrasound Guided Injections
All outpatients that have been referred for an Ultrasound Guided Injection will receive copies of our Ultrasound Guided Injection information leaflet when they receive their appointment letter. These may also be found at the bottom of this page or in the PILS link on the front page.
What is an Ultrasound Guided Injection?
It is a small interventional procedure that involves injecting a steroid into the appropriate area using ultrasound to guide the needle. This injection is a therapeutic procedure, aiming to reduce musculo-skeletal pain relating to tendons, tendon sheaths or bursae.
Before the scan
There are no dietary requirements needed for this scan.
You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing for your scan. You will need to remove clothing and jewellery in the area to be examined.
Please ensure you tell us if you have any allergies, particularly to local anaesthetic.
Please make note of your medication and if you are taking Warfarin, or any other blood thinning tablets make a note of your recent INR (International Normalised Ratio) levels and call 01483 464150 to let us know.
If you are diabetic, you can still have an injection, but be aware that the corticosteroid may cause a temporary rise in your blood sugar levels.
If you require a hoist, or your weight exceeds 23 stones (150 kilograms) please contact the radiology appointments office when you receive this appointment.
Can I bring a relative or friend?
Yes, however, it may not be suitable for a friend to remain in the scanning room whilst you are undergoing the examination. If you have learning difficulties, please bring a friend or relative with you.
What actually happens during an Ultrasound Guided Injection?
Our ultrasound rooms are dimly lit to reduce the amount of ‘glare’ on our ultrasound monitors.
You may be asked to remove some clothing from the affected area.
Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing to expose the region being examined. A small amount of ultrasound gel will be applied to the area of concern and the radiologist or sonographer will scan the region of interest and, after discussion with you, will proceed to giving you the injection. Your skin will be cleaned around the affected area. He/she will then guide the injection to the appropriate position whilst watching it on the screen.
The injection contains a combination of local anaesthetic to temporarily numb the area and a corticosteroid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory.
The anaesthetic will give a few hours of relief, but the slower acting corticosteroid may take up to a week to take effect.
Warning- it may get worse before it gets better. Once the anaesthetic effect has worn off, the area can become more painful for up to 48 hours before the steroid has taken effect.
How long will it take?
The whole examination will usually take 10-20 minutes. Whilst we will endeavour to ensure you are seen at your appointed time, sometimes emergencies may have to take priority. Please be patient, but feel free to ask the reception staff if you think that you may have been overlooked.
What happens afterwards?
You should feel absolutely fine, but you may be asked to stay close to the Radiology department for 20 minutes to ensure you do not feel any adverse side effects.
You can normally drive home, depending on the site of injection, but it may be advisable to be driven by a companion.
You should keep the injected joint/soft tissues moving gently for the first 48 hours, avoiding heavy/physical work, repetitive movements or your normal aggravating positions/movements. Take regular pain killers over next 24 hours, if needed.
Where will I have my scan done?
Ultrasound scans are undertaken in the Radiology Department at the Royal Surrey County Hospital or Cranleigh Hospital. The hospital you are being scanned at and the time of your scan will be written on the accompanying appointment letter.