Need to Know
Nice to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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
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.