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Ultrasound guided steroid injection for the knee: Target your chronic knee pain and painful joints

Ultrasound is a very high frequency sound wave that is passed into your body through an ultrasound probe. As it passes through the tissues, a proportion of the wave is reflected from each of the layers of tissue. The scanner picks up the returning sound waves and processes them into an image. As such, ultrasound has many applications, including being able to precisely administer a Ultrasound guided steroid injection in the affected area of the knee.

Steroid injections for chronic knee pathologies

Hydrocortisone injections, also called corticosteroid injections, are used to treat a variety of issues. Some knee conditions a steroid injection may be useful in treating include:

  • Painful joints
  • Muscle pain
  • Swollen
  • Painful tendons
  • Bursitis of the knee (when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion a joint become swollen)
  • Arthritis
  • Limited rage of movement

Steroid injections are effective in alleviating specific pain present in joints and muscles of the knee. After an injection, patients often feel immediate relief from the pain, effects can last for several months. Depending on the area being treated, steroid injections can be administered in the same place up to four times in a year. 

Steroids (specifically Glucocorticoids) are very powerful anti-inflammatory substances. They can settle down a painful joint or other soft tissue and give patients the opportunity to get on with their everyday activities. The injection also administers local anaesthetic to provide some immediate relief until the steroid has time to take effect. The steroids used at Fusion Healthcare are not the same as those used to build muscle. Medications are administered very cautiously and Fusion Healthcare we will not recommend patients to have large numbers of repeated injections.

In rare cases, pain may feel worse immediately following the injection, however, these effects subside after a few days. 

What is involved in the process?

An ultrasound transducer, otherwise known as an ultrasound probe, is used to acquire the images of the affected knee or knees. The probe is applied to the area that is being scanned and a water-based gel is used to allow for good contact and less friction between the prob and the skin. The probe is used to identify the where the pain is coming from and pinpoint the best place for the insertion of the needle and administration of the local anaesthetic and steroid. to be administered. As such, a thorough ultrasound investigation of the area is important before proceeding as well as discussing with the patient where they feel the most pain when doing their everyday tasks.

The procedure is carried out by a highly qualified NHS clinician in the Fusion Healthcare clinic, who will thoroughly discuss with the patient the ins and outs of the procedure and follow up care.

As this is a procedure involving the administration of medication, a referral is required from a healthcare provider before having the procedure done privately. Often, physios may refer their patients for this form of treatment if physiotherapy alone is providing little relief from the pain. Additionally, chronic pain that may not be alleviated by painkillers can also warrant this form of treatment. Discuss options with your healthcare provider.

Steroid injections for the knee are a great option, and sometimes the only option left, in targeting chronic and server pain and symptoms. The use of anaesthetic and steroid means patients can have immediate relief from their symptoms while the steroid has time to work providing longer term relief of several months. For long term relief, it is recommended to repeat injections in the affected area for when symptoms may start to come back.

Ultrasound guided steroid injection  are valuable and can help with movement, pain relief, and in getting back to doing everyday activities pain-free.