Fluoroscopically-guided steroid injections can be an extremely effective method of treating back pain or joint pain without surgery. This outpatient procedure is a conservative method of treating chronic pain that delivers relief quickly and efficiently to the inflamed area. Fluoroscopy is a type of imaging that shows a continuous X-ray image as a procedure is performed, thus improving accuracy by allowing a physician to guide the injection needle to a precise location under direct visualization.
We know that having an injection or a new procedure means you don’t always know what to expect. Here are some of the most common questions about fluoroscopically-guided injections, answered by Dr. Alicia Lazeski, a fellowship-trained physiatrist with OrthoCarolina Ballantyne.
Is this treatment good for knee pain? I had knee surgery a year ago because of a meniscus tear and I'm still having a lot of knee pain.
Most knee injections don’t require the use of fluoroscopic guidance. Ongoing knee issues following surgery are best discussed with your surgeon; if injection therapy is required, they will likely perform those injections in the office.
I have arthritis in my left shoulder which is almost bone-on-bone pain. Is there a possibility this would help my shoulder?
Fluoroscopically guided injections have been used to provide temporary pain relief in patients with severe shoulder arthritis.
What is the difference between this and epidural steroid injections?
Epidural steroid injections are a type of fluoroscopically-guided injection.
Can I be sedated for a fluoroscopically-guided injection?
In some cases, patients can have certain injections performed at a surgery center where partial sedation with oral or IV medications is offered. We don’t offer this in our clinics. Your provider will talk to you about what is best for your individual case.
How long do the shots last?
Every patient is different. Positive effects from injections may last days, weeks, months or years.
I need the injection but I'm allergic to Lidocaine. Is there another numbing medicine that can be used to numb the area?
Lidocaine is the only medication used to anesthetize the skin at this time.
What insurances cover these injections, and can patients pay cash?
Most insurances do cover fluoroscopically-guided injections; what percentage of the injection cost is covered is dependent on a patient’s individual insurance plan. Questions about cost can be directed to the OrthoCarolina business office.
Where are fluoroscopically-guided injections performed?
OrthoCarolina has several facilities where physicians perform fluoroscopically guided injections. Locations include Ballantyne, Boone, Concord, Gastonia, Huntersville, Matthews, Monroe, Spine Center, and Winston-Salem.
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Cortisone is a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory delivered through an injection that goes directly to the site of inflammation in your body.
Cortisone injections can provide much needed relief for ongoing and chronic pain. Ultrasound machines have helped us improve this accuracy by allowing us to guide the injection needle to a more exact location under direct visualization.
There is no denying that cortisone reduces pain and swelling. Because of that a lot of cortisone shots have been given to help people healing from joint injuries. But just because you get immediate pain relief doesn’t mean it’s helps your joint heal.