This non-operative, outpatient procedure is designed to provide relief for patients with arthritis of the knee. The technique allows the physician to inject an inflammation-reducing steroid with maximum accuracy.
In preparation for the procedure, the physician swabs the knee, injects a numbing medication and positions a hand-held ultrasound probe that will allow the physician to visualize the anatomy of the knee and accurately inject the medication.
Injecting The Medication
The physician inserts a needle into the knee and guides it to the problem area using ultrasound imagery. The medication is then injected into the joint.
End Of Procedure
When the injection is complete, the needle is removed. The local anesthetic and steroid solution in the knee joint will reduce inflammation and pain. The injection can be repeated if necessary.
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Ultrasound-Guided Injection FAQS
Who is a candidate for Ultrasound-Guided Injections?
There aren’t any restrictions on these targeted injections with Dr. Trujillo. Knee injections with corticosteroids are recommended when conservative treatment approaches, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy, are not delivering the pain relief the patient needs. Although they are not a permanent solution, as there is a limit in the number of these injections patients can have, corticosteroid injections can provide excellent pain relief and reduction of inflammation in the knees.
What conditions are commonly treated with Ultrasound-Guided Injections?
Corticosteroids are effective for treating issues caused by inflammation. In the joints, this inflammation can be caused by overuse (tendinitis and bursitis) or by degradation of the joint due to aging (osteoarthritis). These are some of the conditions we use these injections to treat:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What are the benefits of Ultrasound-Guided Injections?
When ultrasound imaging is added to these steroid injections, it provides several benefits for our patients. These benefits are for any joint injections, not only the knee:
- Improved accuracy — Shoulder, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle joints are complex anatomical structures, and the areas within the joints that need these injections can be just a few millimeters in size. Ultrasound guidance enables Dr. Trujillo to be sure he is placing the corticosteroid in the ideal location for the best chances of pain relief and reduction in inflammation.
- Improved safety — Ultrasound energy has no negative impact on the human body. It has been used for imaging for all kinds of purposes, the most well-known being for obstetrics. There is no radiation with ultrasound imaging. Since the ultrasound images provide real-time guidance, there is a far lower risk of complications due to improper placement of the steroid.
- Reduced procedural pain — Ultrasound-guided injections typically take less time and are less painful than unguided injections.
How long does Pain Relief last from Knee Injections?
In some patients they feel immediate relief. For others it can take up to a week for the cortisone to really kick in. The duration of your pain relief and reduction in inflammation varies widely between patients, but relief typically lasts for several months. In some patients, the reduction in inflammation is permanent and the pain resolves. This is more the case with overused tendons or bursitis.
Can you receive Ultrasound-Guided Injections in other parts of your body?
Dr. Trujillo uses this imaging to guide corticosteroid injections in all the joints.
Is there recovery after Knee Injections?
With any cortisone injection, there can be increased pain for the first 24 hours or so after the injection. This is known as a “cortisone flare” and is normal. It can be managed with ice and over-the-counter pain medication for the first day or so. Dr. Trujillo advises patients to lay low and try not to use their knees much for the first 24 to 48 hours. This allows the corticosteroid to really settle in and begin working on the inflammation without dealing with excess movement and increased circulation that comes with exercise and movement. After this initial day or two, you should begin to feel pain relief as the cortisone starts working.
How long before I can resume longer walking and other exercises after a Knee Injection?
You need to wait two days for casual longer walking. Formal, involved exercise needs to wait for several days, maybe even a week. Dr. Trujillo will discuss this with you during your injection appointment.