The injection appointments take 30 minutes. This allows time for registration, discussion with your consultant about the injection, completion of a consent form and then the procedure itself. The procedure normally takes less than five minutes. Afterwards, you will be given post-injection advice.
The Joint Injection Clinic fees are covered by all major insurers including BUPA, Vitality, WPA and Cigna. There are also self-pay options for patients without insurance coverage.
A referral is required for all injections and procedures. The referral must be made by a medical doctor i.e. General Practitioner, orthopaedic surgeon or specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist/osteopath and should be received by the clinic prior to the appointment.
The main complication to look out for after an injection is an infection. If the injection site becomes red, hot, tender or swollen or if you develop a fever then you should contact the clinic or seek medical advice immediately, i.e. GP, walk-in-centre, Accident & Emergency. This issue would normally be managed with antibiotics as required.
After an injection, it is not uncommon to develop a painful flare in your symptoms. This may start after the local anaesthetic has worn off and may last 24-48 hours. If this is the case then you can use simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (as long as they are well tolerated), as well as applying ice (wrapped in a paper towel) to the area for 10 minutes every hour as required.
Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM):
A steroid injection can temporarily increase blood sugar levels by making insulin less effective. If you have IDDM then it is advisable to cautiously monitor blood sugar levels for 5-7 days after the injection. This may mean testing two or three times a day to ensure that the levels are not increasing. If blood sugar levels become high then medical advice should be sought from the person who normally manages your diabetes (usually your GP).
The main risks associated with a musculoskeletal injection include: local infection (1 in 10,000 risk). This means that for every 10,000 injections performed one would expect to see 1 infection.
Other risks include:
Local bleeding/Nerve damage at injection site – 1 in 10,000
Post-injection flare – 1 in 50
Local skin pallor (depigmentation) and thinning of the skin (fat atrophy)
Injection should be avoided if you have a fever or are unwell.
Caution should be taken if you have insulin-dependent diabetes, as steroid injections can raise the blood sugar, requiring frequent self-monitoring in the days following the procedure.
If you are breast feeding then this should be discussed with the clinician undertaking the procedure. In general the clinician will advise either expressing breast milk to provide baby with enough for 48 hrs, or using formula milk to cover the same time period.
If you are taking warfarin or blood-thinning medication then you should tell the clinician prior to the injection.
If you have any concerns following the injection then please contact our friendly admin team who will help with any queries.
If you have concerns about a possible infection and are unable to reach the admin team (out of hours) then please contact the NHS emergency helpline on 112 or seek further medical advice via a Walk-In-Centre or Accident and Emergency.