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Patient Information

Ultrasound Guided Steroid Injections

What is injected?

Your injection will be made up of a local anaesthetic and a steroid. Corticosteroids are very effective at controlling inflammation in joints and tissues. The local anaesthetic may cause some temporary numbing of the area.

Before your injection

  • Please advise the department if you are on antibiotics for infection, as this generally means that we will need to rearrange your appointment for two weeks after the course of antibiotics has finished.
  • You are advised to avoid contact with any known active cases of chickenpox or shingles whilst having steroid therapy.
  • You should not receive any live vaccines whilst on steroid therapy.

Following your injection

Following the injection, the Radiologist or Sonographer may ask you to rest for approximately 30 minutes before leaving the hospital and we also advise that you rest for the remainder of the day at home. Normal activities can be resumed the following day; however, you are advised not to do any strenuous exercise for a week. If it is a tendon injection you may be advised to avoid strenuous exercise for 2 weeks. 
We advise you not to drive on the day of the treatment and to make alternative arrangements.
The beneficial effect of corticosteroid may not be apparent until 24 - 48 hours after your injection.

Possible side effects

All drugs can cause side effects, the following occur very rarely with corticosteroid injections.

Facial flushing

This occurs 24-48 hours after the injection. You may feel hot and your face may look flushed. This resolves completely and does not require treatment.

Glycaemic control

If you are diabetic you may notice a slight change in your blood sugar level over the following 5 days. It is advisable to check this.

Joint or soft tissue infection

This occurs very rarely. If the area becomes hot and painful seek immediate medical advice.

Post injection flare

Occasionally your symptoms may be exacerbated by the injection. This will last for 24-48 hours and should be treated with painkillers as required.

Bleeding or bruising may occur at the injection site. 

Important information

A steroid injection may cause temporary weakening in your immune system which may increase your risk of COVID-19 however there is no confirmed evidence to support this. 

There should be 2 weeks between a COVID-19 vaccine and a steroid injection. If your appointment falls 2 weeks before or after your COVID-19 vaccine, please ring the department to reschedule your appointment.

A risk assessment by your referring clinician will be carried out before your appointment. A second risk assessment may also be carried out on the day of your appointment by your clinician.

If you decide that you do not want to proceed with the steroid injection due associated risk, please ring the Imaging Department to cancel.

More information

If you have any concerns following your injection, please contact the Imaging Department on 0121 685 4135.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital | T: 0121 685 4000 |