The majority of Ultrasound examinations done at SSC are to visualise tendons, tendon sheaths or any other non-bony Orthopaedic problems as this anatomy does not show up on traditional X-ray. It is completely safe and painless way to visualise soft tissues in the body.
You may have been referred by your Consultant for an Ultrasound guided injection due to pain or inflammation. Ultrasound is used in this case because it is the most accurate means of injecting a medication to the exact area of concern. It is used to confirm a diagnosis and at the same time pinpoint the area of interest for the injection.
If you have insurance, please ensure that you bring your policy number and have obtained an authorization number. You will need this when you register.
If you are having an Ultrasound guided injection of the leg, foot or ankle it is advised that you bring someone to drive you home. We use local anaesthetics for pain relief. With all injections it is not advised to drive a car due to the residual numbness that you may feel. If it is not possible to arrange a driver we would be happy to arrange a taxi for you. Failign this we advise that you allow 2-3 hours for the affects of the local anaesthetic to wear off before driving.
No special preparations are required before having an injection.
On arrival at the imaging department you will be registered and will need to provide an authorization code from your insurance company or another proof of payment.
You may be given a gown to change into depending which area of the body is being scanned.
You may be asked to remove any jewellery in the area of the body to be scanned.
In the examination room you will be asked to lie on a bed.
A friend or relative can stay with you during the scan. Alternatively we can provide a chaperone.
The Ultrasound will be carried out by a radiologist (specialist doctor).
They will put a thin layer of clear gel on your skin over the area to be scanned and slide a small hand-held probe (like a large pen) over this area; this will transmit a picture onto a screen beside the bed.
This is not painful, but it may be necessary to press a little harder at times to get a clearer picture.
You can usually see the picture on the monitor screen.
The ultrasound scan can take about 20 minutes depending on which area is being scanned.
The following information is generally applicable.
Each patient is individual and will receive a different injection. The Consultant will provide each patient with a detailed explanation of what will happen nad an informed consent will be signed only after it is agreed that you understand and are happy with the examination.
What is being injected?
A local anaesthetic is injected to minimize the pain of the injection. A steroid medication, which is related to Cortisone, and a long anaesthetic will usually follow.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are very unlikely. Occasionally, the original pain will be worse for 24 hours after the injection. After that the tendon/ligament usually settles. If the pain does nto settle within 48 hours please contact the Diagnostic Imaging department on 01 526 2060.
Who will perform my injection?
A radiologist will do the injection with the aid of a radiographer.
How often and how many injections should I have?
There is no firm rule to how often or the limit to the number of injections. However, the effect tends to decrease with repeated injections. There could also be problems from a large number of injections into the same joint. Your doctor will want to avoid repeating injections more often then necessary.
You should rest the joint after the injection for the first 24-48 hours, especially after the knee or ankle has been injected.
A nurse will call you in one week to see how you are doing. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 01 526 2060 to speak with the Radiology nurse.
There are no known risks in having an ultrasound scan.
If you have anymore questions or need further information please contact the Diagnostic Imaging Department on 01 526 2060