X-ray guidance or ultrasound guidance are used for a variety of different spinal procedures to ensure that the consultant is administering the treatment to the exact area that needs treating. Usually a long acting local anaesthetic and steroid are used, to reduce inflammation. All of these procedures carried out are day case procedures and patients are not usually required to stay overnight - in fact the procedure can usually be done in as little as 30 minutes and the patient will be home in their own bed the same evening.
All the treatments offered have a long and excellent safety record. However, every procedure (or medication) carries a risk. These procedures are typically considered to be low risk..
All injections are painful to some extent, but in most cases the pain is comparable to that of a blood test or vaccination. Spinal injections may be uncomfortable because the injection is going into an area that is often already painful. Any discomfort experienced will be transient and in the highly unlikely event that the treatment was not tolerated the procedure would be stopped. Although the procedures may be done entirely under local anaesthetic, sedation may also be offered where appropriate.
Spinal injections for painful conditions are typically beneficial in almost three-quarters of cases. This is because some painful conditions are resistant to treatment. Viscosupplementation injections with Hyaluronic acid for knee osteoarthritic pain typically have a good response for longer than 6 months and can enable many people to maximize quality of life and postpone major surgery for as long as possible
Yes, although this is unlikely. Allergic reactions are usually mild temporary reactions such as redness, itching and swelling. Extremely rare anaphylactic reactions may occur with any treatment offered and these will be managed emergently. To put things in perspective it is worth noting that anaphylactic reactions may perhaps be commonly associated with everyday food items such as peanuts and medications such as antibiotics.