Fluoroscopically Guided Injections

Steroid injections for chronic pain

What are fluoroscopically guided injections?

Fluoroscopy is the examination of tissues and other body structures by X-ray, which shows, like a video, a continuous three-dimensional image. A traditional X-ray, like a photograph, allows for only one still image of the affected area.

Fluoroscopically guided steroid injections are typically used to alleviate chronic spine, leg or arm pain. Steroids (cortisone) have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. While the effects of the injection tend to be temporary – providing pain relief for one week to one year – a steroid injection can be highly effective because it delivers the medication directly to the site of inflammation. More importantly, it can provide sufficient pain relief to allow the patient to progress with his or her rehabilitation program. 

Epidural steroid injections deliver steroids directly into the epidural space, which surrounds the spinal nerves. Steroids can also be injected directly into the space that surrounds such joints as the facet, hip and sacroiliac joints. The fluoroscopy machine allows for safe and accurate placement of the medication. Most procedures are done with local anesthesia, usually lidocaine, and a small amount of contrast material is generally used to ensure appropriate placement of the medication.

What you need to know about fluoroscopically guided injections

When home exercise, physical therapy or prescribed medications are ineffective in treating your pain, a fluoroscopically guided injection may be considered.​

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and conduct a physical exam of the affected area. Diagnostic studies, like an X-ray, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or an EMG (electromyogram), may also be required.

Common types of injections include epidural, facet, hip and sacroiliac joint injections. Your Tri Rivers physician will determine the type of injection you receive based on your symptoms, diagnostic studies and medical history. 

Additional information

Tri Rivers physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists Drs. Cosgrove, Craig and Cui perform the injections under X-ray guidance using a fluoroscope.

To schedule a consultation for a fluoroscopic injection, call 1-866-874-7483 or click here. 

James L. Cosgrove, MD

James A. Craig Jr., DO

Chen Cui, MD