Bursa Injection

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?This procedure is performed to treat pain and inflammation of a bursa in the body.  The most common areas of injection sites are shoulder, hip, ileo-psoas and wrist.  Steroid injections are often used to treat patients suffering from pain and immobility. Using ultrasound imaging, doctors can find the best place for the injection, increasing the chance that it will help alleviate a patient’s discomfort.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • Inform your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to any types of anesthesia, including lidocaine
  • Inform your doctor of any and all medications you are currently taking. You may need talk to your doctor beforehand about adjusting or stopping any medications such as blood thinners.
  • Inform your technologist if you are pregnant
  • The procedure itself only takes a few minutes and is done under ultrasound guidance
  • A small band-aid will be used over the site of injection
  • Leave valuables, such as jewelry, at home


How Does it Work?

With the guidance of ultrasound imaging (a painless exam which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce instant images of the inside of your body), your doctor will inject the bursa with a steroid to alleviate your pain.

What Will Happen During the Exam?

A clinical staff member will bring you into the ultrasound procedure room.  Depending on the type of exam you may be asked to change your clothes into shorts or a gown. Your doctor will greet you, review the procedure, and ask you to sign consent for the exam.  Your doctor will address any concerns or questions you may have at this time. You will be positioned on the procedure table, in the appropriate position for the type of exam you are having.  Using ultrasound guidance, the technologist and doctor will find the area in question and mark the area.  The area will be cleaned and a local anesthetic will be given.  This will be a pinch sensation and some slight burning then the area will be numb.  The doctor will then inject the area with medication to reduce the pain and inflammation.  A small band-aid will cover the area.  Keep the area clean and dry for the next 24 hours, if needed change the band-aid.  Generally speaking the numbing medicine will wear off in 1-2 hours and you may experience your normal pain or slightly more until the medication takes effect.  You can expect a small bruise around the area that was injected. 

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How Should I Prepare?

There are things you can do to make your experience more comfortable, and many of these will depend on your individual preferences. You might like to keep a list of questions or — as you’re doing now — educate yourself about the procedure.

  • Your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), or blood thinners (such as Coumadin or warfarin) for a time before the procedure.
  • When you arrive, make sure the technologist and radiologist know about any allergies you may have, especially allergies to local anesthetics, such as lidocaine.
  • If there’s any chance you may be pregnant, tell your technologist or radiologist.

What Should I Bring?

On the day of your procedure you should:

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid bringing jewelry or valuables
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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of an ultrasound-guided bursa injection could include:

  • Relief of pain and immobility
  • Most patients do not report any pain or discomfort during the procedure
  • Recovery time is short and patients can resume their normal activities

Risks you should be aware of include:

  • As with any procedure, there is a slight risk of infection.
  • In some cases patients report slight discomfort and swelling following the procedure. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Talk your doctor if you experience any discomfort following the procedure.

Keep in mind that this information is general. Your radiologist is the best source of information about how these risks and benefits may apply to you.

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Where Can I Get This Exam?

We perform bone biopsies in our Farmington office.

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