Explore This Procedure

What is Image-Guided Joint Injection?

We offer joint injection as a minimally invasive, image-guided therapy to help treat joint pain or to see if the location of the injection is causing you pain. An image-guided joint injection is a shot of an anti-inflammatory steroid medicine that uses fluoroscopy or ultrasound to pinpoint where the needle needs to go and to show the needle’s progress. One of our musculoskeletal radiologists often gives it with a shot of anesthetic to numb the site of injection. We use imaging technology such as fluoroscopy, CT or ultrasound to guide the needle to the correct spot. 

An image-guided joint injection takes about 20 minutes from the time you are positioned on the table to the time the procedure is done.

How to Prepare for Image-Guided Joint Injection

  • Consultation - Anyone undergoing image-guided joint injection must be evaluated by our staff prior to the surgery. Sometimes, a phone call works as your consultation, but typically you will be seen in person.
  • Images - Please bring any imaging studies not performed at Mass General Imaging to your consultation appointment, including plain radiographs and MRI images.
  • When to Arrive - Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment on the day of the procedure to check in.
  • Risks - An image-guided joint injection is safe, but small risks include bleeding or infection. You could also have an allergic reaction to the injected medicine. Please let us know about any risks that concern you at the time of your appointment.

What to Expect After Image-Guided Joint Injection

After we give your image-guided joint injection, we will go over any special instructions and let you know when it is safe for you to go home. Most people can leave the hospital right away. After your joint injection, it’s important to follow the specific instructions we give you. You should take it easy for the rest of the day. You will receive follow-up care from the doctor who ordered your procedure.