Ultrasound-guided injections (USGI) guide

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Ultrasound-guided injections costs and locations

Pain from a musculo-skeletal issue can be debilitating and disruptive to your daily life. Ultrasound-guided injections are an effective way of helping to manage that discomfort, providing effective and targeted pain relief.

What is an ultrasound-guided injection?

Ultrasound-guided injections are used to provide targeted pain relief. The needle is guided by ultrasound imaging which provides a detailed map of the affected area. The level of image detail allows for pinpoint accuracy, ensuring the clinician guiding the needle knows exactly where to administer the injection.

Types of ultrasound-guided injections and techniques

There are three different types of ultrasound-guided injections:

  • Hyaluronic acid: replaces lost joint fluids and lubricates the joints
  • Corticosteroid: relieves pain and inflammation
  • Platelet-rich plasma: encourages a more natural healing process.

Who is it for?

Ultrasound-guided injections are for people suffering from the following conditions:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip or knee
  • Osteoarthritis of the wrist, thumb, ankle, and foot
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder impingement or bursitis
  • Acromioclavicular joint pain
  • Hydrodistension shoulder
  • High volume injections/stripping Achilles tendon.

What are the benefits of ultrasound-guided injections?

The main benefit of ultrasound-guided injections is accuracy. The doctor administering the injection has the benefit of detailed imaging, meaning pain relief is super targeted to the affected area. This increases both the effectiveness and longevity of the treatment.

Ultrasound-guided injections can help reduce inflammation and improve your mobility. This means you may be able to get back to enjoying your favourite activities sooner.

What happens at an ultrasound-guided injection appointment?

If your doctor has recommended an ultrasound-guided injection for you, you’re probably wondering what comes next. The three steps below document the run-up to the procedure to the recovery period so you know exactly what to expect.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound-guided injection?

Before your ultrasound-guided steroid injection, you may need to take certain precautions and follow specific instructions provided by our clinic. These instructions might include the following:

  • letting the booking team know if you take blood-thinning medications or supplements, so we can book your appointment accordingly
  • making arrangements for your journey home after your injection. If you are planning to have local anaesthetic, this may cause numbness of the affected area for a few hours after, potentially making you unfit to drive
  • discussing any allergies or medical conditions with the clinician.

Procedure

The ultrasound-guided steroid injection procedure typically follows these steps:

  • you will be positioned comfortably and the consultant will clean and sterilise the area to be injected
  • the clinician who performs your injection will choose the most appropriate steroid and dosage based on your condition and symptoms
  • they will first perform a clinical examination and ultrasound scan
  • using ultrasound guidance, the consultant will carefully insert a small needle into the targeted area
  • once the needle is in the correct position, the steroid medication is injected into the desired area
  • the needle is removed and a small bandage may be applied to the injection site.

Recovery

If you have received local anaesthetic, you may feel an immediate relief from pain. The initial numbing sensation will usually wear off after a few hours. It usually takes seven-to-ten days before the full effect of the steroid can be felt. The pain should be significantly reduced within a week of the injection.

If you are having an injection into a joint, you will be advised to avoid strenuous exercise for around one week. If you are having an injection around a tendon, you may be advised to avoid heavy impact and strenuous loading activities for up to 14 days. Your clinician will discuss with you returning to activities on the day of the treatment.

How successful are ultrasound-guided injections?

In terms of accuracy in delivering pain relief to the affected area, ultrasound-guided injections are very successful. However, they aren’t meant as a long-term solution to ongoing issues. Your symptoms will likely improve for a few months but other means of treatment may be required to solve the issue.

Ultrasound-guided injection side effects, risks, and complications

Ultrasound-guided injections are designed to cause as little damage to the tissues and structures surrounding the affected area as possible. However, there are still some risks. These include:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • numbness
  • allergic reaction.

Waiting times for USGIs

The time you wait for your ultrasound-guided injection depends on whether you’re a private patient or having treatment via the NHS.

Private patients will typically only have to wait for one week before they can have their treatment.

Learn more about private treatment waiting times.

Ultrasound-guided injection costs

The in-clinic cost of ultrasound-guided injection at Practice Plus Group is £680.

Ways to pay

There are two ways to access ultrasound-guided injections at Practice Plus Group:

  • Self-pay private healthcare
  • NHS referral

Why choose us?

At Practice Plus Group Hospitals, we’re passionate about giving patients a positive experience and excellent clinical outcomes, with personalised care every step of the way. With our short waiting times, unrivalled Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings, and high levels of cleanliness and infection control, we’ll make sure you’re looked after. In fact, we were the first provider to have all services rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.

USGI injection FAQs

Not yet found the answers you’re looking for? Our dedicated ultrasound-guided injection FAQs may be able to help!

Ultrasound guided injections usually give you a window of pain relief. This can last for a few months and help you progress with other treatment options such as exercise therapy and self-management strategies.

In the majority of cases, patients report a painless experience during their ultrasound-guided injection.

Injections are performed by our team of specialist physiotherapy practitioners who have extensive experience of conducting ultrasound-guided procedures. At Practice Plus Group, we perform between 180 and 250 ultrasound-guided injections each month at Practice Plus Group MSK & Diagnostics, Buckinghamshire.

If you have local anaesthetic, your pain may be relieved immediately after the injection. The initial numbness from the injection will usually wear off after a few hours. It will usually take between seven-to-ten days before the full effect of the steroid can be felt. Pain will likely reduce significantly within a week of the injection.

This will be determined by the following:

  • your specific condition
  • imaging results
  • your pain levels
  • your functional ability
  • the outcome of any previous procedures.

Our clinicians will be able to discuss this further with you during your appointment.

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