CT Guided Injections

A CT guided cortisone injection is commonly performed to treat inflammation of the nerve roots or the facet joints of the spine, as well as inflammation in joints throughout the body.

Cortisone is the name used to describe a group of drugs commonly known as corticosteroids. Cortisone is used to treat pain in various parts of the body where inflammation is felt to be the cause of this pain. Cortisone is effective in treating such pain as it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Using CT to guide the injection into the area of suspected/proven pain allows a high dose of cortisone to be accurately delivered without the side effects of taking cortisone tablets.

Lake Imaging performs CT Guided Injections at the following locations:

What to bring

  • A referral from your doctor or specialist is required for this examination, please ensure you bring this to your appointment.
  • Medicare or concession card
  • Previous imaging not performed at Lake Imaging


Please inform the staff at the time of making your appointment if you are taking any medications which thin your blood such as aspirin or warfarin.

It is recommended that you have someone drive you home following your procedure.

What to expect during my procedure

When you arrive at Lake Imaging you may be asked to change into an examination gown.

You will then be asked a few safety questions before being asked to lie flat on the CT examination table. You will need to keep very still for the duration of the scan, as the table moves through the gantry opening and the image data is acquired.  You may hear a humming noise during the scan, but no moving parts will touch you.

Initial scans will be taken to determine the best approach for the cortisone injection. 

The skin over the area is cleaned with antiseptic wash and a fine needle is used to give local anaesthetic.  This usually stings a short time before becoming numb.

Using CT for guidance, a fine needle will then be inserted into the site for injection. There may be mild discomfort with needle placement and during the injection of cortisone.

When the procedure is completed, the needle will be removed and an adhesive dressing will be placed over the injection site.

The procedure will take just a few minutes to complete.

Risks and side effects

As with any injection, there is a very small risk of infection, nerve damage or bleeding into the joint; on rare occasions the injection may cause an allergic reaction.  

CT scans involve the use of ionising radiation.  CT scans will only be performed when any potential risks are far outweighed by the benefits to the patient.  Lake Imaging’s state of the art CT scanners and staff trained in radiation reduction techniques use the latest in CT dose efficient technology to ensure the minimum dose necessary is used to produce the best quality images for an accurate diagnosis.

If you are worried or concerned about having a CT scan you should discuss this with your referring doctor or medical specialist before coming for your examination.

If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please inform our radiology team before your examination to avoid any risks to your unborn child.

Who will perform and report my examination

At Lake Imaging the imaging component of your CT injection will be performed by a radiographer (or medical imaging technologist), who has a degree in medical imaging. A Radiologist (a doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images), will perform the injection, and following prepare and send a report to your referring doctor detailing the examination performed. 

What to expect after my procedure

Once the procedure is finished you will be required to rest of about 20 minutes in our department prior to leaving.

How do I receive my results?

If your CT results are urgent, or you have an appointment straight after the scan with your doctor or health care provider, Lake Imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately delivered to your referring doctor.

Otherwise your referring doctor or health care provider will receive your report within 48 hours of your examination.

Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.