Cortisone injection with steroids for joints and tendons using radiation guidance

14 Feb, 2022

Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication that can be injected into joints and soft tissue under X-ray or ultrasound guidance to reduce inflammation and pain.

The procedure allows a small dose of medication to be injected into a specific, defined area of pain while minimizing potential side effects. It is considered a ‘diagnostic’ injection because it can also confirm the source of pain. The procedure may be used to treat joint pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis or tenosynovitis.

The rest period may last from three to six months, and if successful, injections can be repeated up to four times a year.

How do I prepare for my procedure?

Take all prescribed medication as directed. If you take blood thinners, you may need to have an International Normalized Ratio (INR) test and stop the medication temporarily before the procedure. You should inform the booking coordinators so they can discuss this in more detail with you.
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior your appointment
  • You may feel uncomfortable, so please have someone accompany you on the day of the procedure. It may be more convenient to have someone drive you home.

Diabetic patients: Cortisone can cause a temporary increase in blood sugar so this should be closely monitored. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

What happens during the procedure:

  • Depending on the area being treated, you may be provided with a comfortable clinic gown to change into
  • A member of staff will explain the process and answer your questions
  • We will then accompany you to the treatment ward where you will meet a radiologist who will clean the skin and inject a topical anesthetic, similar to the anesthesia you may receive at a dentist.
  • Under X-ray or ultrasound guidance, long - term anti-inflammatory freezing will be injected using a thin, sterile needle.
  • After the injection, our team will evaluate your medical status and if there are no concerns, you will be allowed to go home.

Post-procedure instructions:

First 24 hours: Keep treated area clean and leave the bandage on. Do not shower.

First 48 hours: Avoid bathtubs, hot tubs and swimming pools, as well as any strenuous activities or lifting.

Within a week: You can resume physical therapy. Pay attention to your pain and stop all activities when in pain. Inform your physiotherapist that you've received this treatment so they can adjust your exercises if necessary.

Watch out for infection. If you experience symptoms such as increasing pain, redness of the skin around the injection spot, or body temperature above 38.5°C, please head to an urgent care center or Emergency Room.

If you feel any pain or show other symptoms within 48 hours of the procedure, contact the Emergency Room.