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Bursa Injection

What is a Bursa?

In many areas of the body, muscles and tendons must slide over and against one another during movement. At each of these places there is a bursa, which is a small sac of lubricating fluid, to help the muscles and tendons move without friction. When the bursa sac becomes inflamed, pain can result each time the tendon has to move over the bone. The pain may eventually be present at rest and may even cause a problem while sleeping.


Learn more about a Bursa Injection:

  • We will contact you prior to your appointment to review medications you are currently taking, your medical history, potential risks and answer any of your questions.
  • Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
  • If you have films, reports or CD-ROMs of any MRI, CT or X-rays you have already had please bring them to the appointment.
  • Please arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
  • During your appointment, women should always inform their physician or X-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breast feeding.
  • Overall you should plan on approximately one and a half hours of your time for this procedure from check-in until you leave the clinic.
  • Using X-ray guidance, our specialized radiologist will insert a thin needle and inject contrast solution into the bursa thought to be causing your pain. The contrast solution is designed to highlight your anatomy to make sure the nerve thought to be causing your pain is precisely targeted.
  • The radiologist will then slowly release a combination of anti-inflammatory (steroid) and anesthetic (numbing) medications into the area.
  • You may experience some slight pressure or discomfort during the injection.
  • You may be asked to wait after the procedure so that the clinic staff can monitor your symptoms before you leave.
  • You may experience numbness and/or relief from your symptoms for up to six hours after the injection.
  • Your usual symptoms may then return and possibly be worse than usual for a day or two. The beneficial effects of the steroids usually require two to three days to take hold, but may take as long as five to seven days.
  • If an initial injection provided a certain amount of relief, a second injection might strengthen the pain relief effect. Also, if your pain subsides, but begins to return weeks or months later, additional injections are possible.
  • If there is no change in your symptoms after a week, your doctor may want to investigate other possible sources for your pain.


NOTE: This procedure is not performed in all of our centers. Please contact the location or region nearest you for more information or to schedule an appointment. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have!