Steroid injections for joints

Steroid injections (joints and bursa)

Typically used to treat synovitis, these injections involve injecting steroids and local anesthetic into the problem areas and joints to reduce the inflammation caused by many conditions. This is a very common and very low risk procedure with minimal discomfort due to local anesthetic.

The procedure is vert simple. first the anesthetic is applied to numb the area, the joint/bursa is found under ultrasound or CT then the needle with the steroid and more local anesthetic is injected in the spot. These procedures can often be finished within 5 minutes. 

Possible side effects of the medication

Local anesthetics and contrast media can cause allergic reactions. The following symptoms can occur as possible side effects of injecting a cortisone preparation: calf cramps, slight weight gain, slight increase in blood sugar or blood pressure, acne, increased brittleness of smaller vessels with the occurrence of bruises and menstrual disorders in women. Due to the low local amount of cortisone, general cortisone side effects are only to be expected in exceptional cases.

After the injection, you may experience temporary numbness and weakness area that is injected. This is a dose-dependent effect of the local anesthetic and usually resolves completely within 24 hours. Since the local anesthetic can prolong your reaction time, you should not actively participate in road traffic during this time - an escort for the way home is recommended for certain joints. 

Blood thinning medications may need to be stopped for a period of days, or your normal dose reduced, before this procedure is carried out. It is very important that you do not stop any of these medications or change the dose without consulting both the radiology clinic or department and your own doctor. They will give you specific instructions about when to stop and restart the medication. These drugs are usually prescribed to prevent stroke or heart attack so it is very important that you do not stop taking them without being instructed to do so by your doctor or the radiology practice, or both. Aspirin is usually not stopped




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