Pain Management Exam Prep

Joint injection exam prep depends on the procedure your practitioner has ordered. You will be told about any special instructions when you book your exam.

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What are joint injections?

MIC radiologists perform joint injections to help patients who have chronic pain in a joint. This is a safe procedure which can assist in both the evaluation and treatment of a variety of conditions.

During the procedure, an MIC radiologist will use fluoroscopic guidance to inject an anti-inflammatory medication such as cortisone into joints decrease inflammation and reduce pain. In some patients, the cause of pain is not clear and the injection is used both for diagnosis and treatment.

If more than one joint has to be treated, then each requires a separate injection. The radiologist will determine whether it is safe to inject more than one joint at an appointment.

Consult your practitioner to see if a joint injection might be a good pain management option for you.

What to expect

  • You will be advised of any preparation by your booking agent before your appointment.
  • If you are on any blood thinning medications (e.g. coumadin), you may be advised to stop taking them for a few days before your exam.
  • One of our technologists will help position you on the table so you are comfortable and the radiologist can access the joint.
  • Your skin will be cleaned to keep the procedure sterile and a local anesthetic will be used to ‘freeze’ the skin and muscle near the joint. This will sting for a few seconds.
  • The radiologist will insert a needle into the joint. This may feel slightly uncomfortable or sting for a moment. Then the radiologist will inject a tiny amount of x-ray dye to ensure that the needle is in the correct position, followed by the cortisone and more freezing. While most patients do not notice anything, some will feel pressure in the area.
  • You should take it easy for a day or so after the procedure.