Pain relieving procedures are to provide temporary or prolonged relief from pain or inflammation in your joints or back. Imaging guidance, such as Fluoroscopy or Computerized Tomography (CT), may be used to help the radiologist place the needle in exactly the right location so you can receive maximum benefit from the injection. The goal of a pain relief injection is to “turn off” a pain signal coming from a specific location in the body or to decrease inflammation in that area.
Generally, pain management procedures do not require special preparation. However, you will receive specific instructions on how to prepare, including any changes that need to be made to your regular medication schedule. Wear clothing that is comfortable and metal-free.
We require that patients receiving hip steroid injections, nerve root injections and facet injections have someone accompany them to their appointment and drive them home.
Inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking, and if you have any allergies. (Some procedures require you to stop taking aspirin or a blood thinner prior to your procedure.) Also, inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions, or if there is a possibility that you are pregnant.
At the time of your appointment, a technologist will explain the procedure. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. You may be asked to change into a gown to wear during the exam.
During the exam, you will be positioned on a special fluoroscopic or CT table that will give the Radiologist easy access to the injection site(s). You will be made as comfortable as possible, both during and after the procedure.
Using fluoroscopic guidance the radiologist will numb the area and then slowly advance a needle into the joint space. A small amount of x-ray contrast may be injected to confirm appropriate needle placement and then an injection of local anesthetic and steroid will be administered through that needle.
The anesthetic may help within a few minutes but it can take up to 48 hours to realize the full effects of the steroid medication.