Post-Procedure Care

These instructions will provide you with a general guide for post-procedure care after receiving a steroid or platelet rich plasma injection.  If you experience an unusual reaction to the injection you should contact the clinic and speak with someone from our staff. You may print our Post Injection Pain Diary here.

Post-Injection Patient Care Instructions:

These instructions will provide you with a general guide for post-procedure care after receiving a steroid or platelet rich plasma injection.  If you experience an unusual reaction to the injection you should contact the clinic and speak with someone from our staff.

Steroid Injections:

The first several hours after your injection the anesthetic portion of the injection should provide pain relief.  As the anesthetic wears off, normal pain may return and in some cases an increase in pain based on the actual injection portion of the procedure.  Tylenol or ibuprofen is generally all you will need to help control this post-procedure pain.  Rest and ice can be equally effective.
In the following days (1-10), the steroid will begin working to decrease swelling in tendons or bursal tissues.  For joint injections, the steroid works by decreasing synovitis swelling associated with osteoarthritis.  You will usually notice a significant reduction in pain by the second or third day.

Hydrodissection Procedures:

During injections surrounding nerves, we frequently use anesthetic and a steroid to help decrease swelling around the nerve. If a hydrodissection technique is utilized, normal saline is used to create more room for the nerve. As the nerve wakes it will frequently experience numbness and tingling distally. This can be a normal response. If you experience increased pain, you should contact our office.
With increasing pain you may use ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain control. Do not use direct ice over the nerve as this may irritate it further. Using ice or frozen peas in a cloth barrier can help control pain. Frozen gel packs placed directly on the skin may cause injury to the skin and/or nerves.

Platelet Rich Plasma and Autologous Condition Plasma Injections:

For biologic injections such as PRP and ACP, it is typical to experience an increase in pain. Plan on getting ahead of your pain with the medications provided and avoid ibuprofen type products such as Motrin, Aleve or Naproxen. You should continue your regularly prescribed medications. For pain control, the addition of gentle range of motion exercises and icing may be effective. You should ice every one to two hours for 15-20 minutes. Remember to use a cloth barrier between ice and skin to avoid frostbite. You should plan on passive range of motion every one to two hours for the first several days. If you notice redness at the injection site or pain that is not controlled with prescription medications, please contact us regarding additional care.

Red Flag Symptoms:

If you develop excessive redness, swelling and/or warmth to the injection site area, especially in the first several days after the injection, immediately contact the clinic. If you develop a fever or allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, swelling to the lips and or mouth or shortness of breath you should contact the emergency room after hours or contact the clinic during our regular office hours.

Postinjection Exercises and Range of Motion:

It’s important after an injection to facilitate normal joint motion and movement through tendons.  This is best facilitated with passive motion instead of active motion. Passive motion is where someone moves the joint while its relaxed, whereas active motion is when you move the joint under your own power. Utilizing the assistance of your other extremities, passively move your joint or site of the tendon injection gently at least 6 times per day. After many injections, we will ask you to engage in eccentric stretching (lengthening) of the tendon to help promote a healing response and shortened tissue recovery period. This should be done about 6 times daily.

Followup Appointments:

For most procedures, you will be scheduled for a followup appointment in 2-4 weeks. If you’re having any significant complications, you should contact the office for a new appointment.