Taranaki Radiology perform a range of diagnostic and therapeutic image guided injections. These are carried out using ultrasound image guidance for very precise needle tip placement to accurately target the joint itself or an adjacent structure. Your specialist will refer you to us for image guided injections to ensure that the treatment is placed into the precise location.

 Mammogram at Taranaki Radiology


Our interventional team perform image guided injection procedures for:

  • Joint Injections
  • Soft Tissue Injections (Muscle and Tendon)



In general terms, patients are referred for image guided injections for two reasons: diagnostic and therapeutic.

Firstly, as a diagnostic test to confirm whether the pain or other symptoms that they are experiencing are arising from a particular joint, tendon or other structure. This can help guide any further investigations or treatment.

Secondly, as a therapeutic measure to help improve the pain or other symptoms. The duration of the beneficial effect is variable: most injections give relief for an average of three to six months, sometimes longer and typically can be repeated.

Inflammation is a common component of many conditions. An injection of local anaesthetic and steroid can be used to treat inflammation. The steroid acts as a strong but localised anti-inflammatory to ease pain and reduce swelling, the effects of which last much longer that the local anaesthetic.

Ultrasound is a simple, safe, painless diagnostic procedure. If you have any questions about the examination, speak to your referrer or ask our staff.


  • We will contact you prior to your appointment to talk through any preparation instructions and ask you about your current medications, your medical history, and potential risks. We will also answer any questions you may have about the procedure.  Do let us know if you normally take warfarin tablets (or any other blood thinning medication).
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
  • On the day of your injection procedure, please arrive at 56 Fulford Street, 10 minutes early for check in.
  • Following the procedure you should be able to drive home, however you may want to bring someone with you to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Although complications are rare, our interventional radiologist will discuss possible side effects and risks with you prior to your procedure so you can ask questions and decide if this exam is right for you.
  • A technologist will greet you and will go over a few health questions with you.
  • Depending on the area of your injection you may be led to a changing room to remove clothing and put on a gown that we provide for your examination. You will be given a basket to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
  • Once in the examination room the radiologist will explain the procedure and any associated risks.  Feel free to ask any questions you may have. You will be positioned on a table and the skin in the targeted area will be cleaned and then numbed with a local anaesthetic.
  • The procedure can cause some discomfort. Typically, you may feel strong pressure and not much pain.
  • Using ultrasound imaging for guidance, the radiologist will insert a thin needle into the problem area.
  • The radiologist will slowly release a combination of anti-inflammatory (steroid) and anaesthetic (numbing) medications into the relevant area to decrease inflammation and relieve the pain.
  • If multiple pain sites exist, several injections may be required.
    • When your procedure is complete, if needed you will be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the gown and back into your clothing.
    • You may experience temporary numbness and/or relief from your symptoms after the injection.
    • There is a small risk of bleeding, especially if you are taking a blood thinner such as Warfarin and also a small risk of infection. If you are on a blood thinning agent, please notify us before the procedure.
    • The beneficial effects of the steroids usually require two to three days to take effect, but may take as long as five to seven days. Your usual symptoms may then return and possibly be worse than usual for a day or two. Every patient is different and your results may vary.
    • If there is no change in your symptoms after a week, your specialist may want to investigate other possible sources for your pain.

Following the injection, it can be useful to keep a diary record of how your symptoms feel over the next few weeks, so that you can inform the specialist who referred you to us.

  • If the injection blocked your pain effectively, but only for a short time, your specialist may request additional injections or consider a procedure that offers more permanent relief.


Why are steroid injections given?

You can receive steroid injections to the joints (an intra-articular injection), the muscles (an intramuscular injection). The aim is for the steroid to reduce inflammation and pain.

What should I do if I get pain after the injection?

You may notice your joint pain increasing immediately following an injection, but this should abate within 48 hours. Often the pain can be easily controlled by using some ice wrapped in a towel around the affected area to reduce the pain. Often the pain will not be too bad as a local anaesthetic will be used. Ibubrufen can be taken for discomfort.

Can I drive following my injection?

You may experience temporary numbness over the area for up to an hour following the injection. Some patients may be required to stay at Taranaki Radiology for 30-40 minutes until the numbness has resolved.

Following the procedure you should be able to drive home, however you may want to bring someone with you to drive. We advise you to have a quiet day and resume normal activities 24 hours after, as you feel able.

How quickly does the injection take to work?

Shorting acting soluble steroids usually begin to give relief within a few hours. Longer acting steroids may take around two weeks to become effective, but these types usually ease symptoms for a longer period.

What side effects can an injections cause?

   – Pain and discomfort for a few days in the injected area
   – Temporary bruising or collection of blood under the skin
   – Flushing and redness of the face and upper chest for a few days
   – An infection, causing redness swelling and pain.  If the area becomes red, hot and swollen and you feel unwell you should seek immediate medical help.
   – Paler skin at the injected area
   – If you are diabetic and take insulin, your blood sugar levels may be affected for a few weeks
   – Risk of tendon rupture

Service Location: Fulford


56 Fulford Street, New Plymouth

8am-6pm Monday, 8am-5pm Tuesday – Friday

Phone 06 759 4317 extension 700