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If you have painful or swollen joints, ligaments or tendons that are not responding to conservative treatments your consultant may recommend you have joint injections with image guidance.

Why you might need it

Your joints may be painful or stiff due to injury or arthritis, and can sometimes severely impact your everyday life and activities. Joint injections can provide pain relief, and whilst some people have relief for several months, others require new injections every few weeks.

Your Consultation

You will have a consultation with a healthcare professional, during which you can discuss your symptoms, your medical history and ask any questions that you may have.

Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you so you know exactly what to expect. Your consultant may also discuss if any further diagnostic tests may be needed, such as a blood test or scan, with you.

We understand that this can be a daunting time so our friendly and caring team will be sure to put you at rest and make your experience with us, as comfortable as possible.

The Procedure

Image-guided joint injections usually take between 15 – 30 minutes, and you will be awake during the procedure.

Your consultant will then use an Ultrasound scanner or a CT Scan to guide the injection and make sure it will be in the exact area of the joint that needs relief.

They will then clean the skin surrounding the area and use a very fine needle to inject you with a mix of local anaesthetic and steroid in the same syringe.

The local anaesthetic will block the way nerves carry pain signals to your brain and therefore providing relief from the injection, whilst the steroid will reduce inflammation in the joint.


The anaesthetic that has been injected into your joint will provide temporary pain relief for 4-6 hours, whilst the steroid will take several days to begin to take effect, with maximum effectiveness taking up to 10 days.

The injection may aggravate the area around your joint, however, this will settle. You can take over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol if it is needed, and you should rest the joint for 24 – 48 hours.

We offer a multidisciplinary approach to our procedures, so we can offer further care such as physiotherapy, should you need it following your treatment too.


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Our dedicated team will still be there for you during each step of your recovery, even once you have left the hospital if you have any queries or concerns. Our consultants will usually book a follow-up appointment with you before you are discharged from hospital, to see how you are doing.

Whilst it is rare occurrence, surgery does carry a risk of complications. These depend on the type of operation you have as well as a variety of other factors such as your overall general health. During your consultation/s your consultant will discuss the possible risks and complications of having this procedure, and how they may apply to you, and answer any concerns or questions you have.

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