Mercy Radiology’s musculoskeletal service provides diagnostic and interventional services including X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, fluoroscopy, SPECT-CT and sodium fluoride PET-CT. 

Complementing our imaging service, we also perform a full range of minimally invasive, therapeutic injections into many body regions, to treat a range of joint and soft tissue disorders.


1. X-ray (Plain film)

  • Available at all our sites.
  • Excellent initial assessment of bone trauma or non-traumatic osseous and joint pathologies.

2. Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

  • Non-invasive real-time imaging. 
  • Accurate evaluation of soft-tissue pathologies.

3. Ultrasound-Guided Procedures –

  • Minimally invasive therapeutic procedures. 
  • Full range of procedures including corticosteroid injections, aspiration of calcifications in rotator cuff tendons, hydrodilatation of the glenohumeral joint for adhesive capsulitis, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and ganglion cyst aspirations. 

4. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

  • PRP promotes healing of musculoskeletal injuries and may reduce pain. 
  • Conditions which may benefit include tennis and golfer’s elbow, patellar tendinosis, achilles tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, and intra-articular injections for osteoarthrosis.
  • Treatment can result in significant reduction of pain and can reduce the need for alternative treatment.

5. Computed Tomography (CT) –

  • High-resolution cross-sectional imaging. 
  • Detailed fracture characterisation, fracture follow-up, preoperative orthopaedic planning and assessment of pathological bone lesions.
  • CT arthrogram.

6. SPECT-CT Bone Scans

  • Detection of pain generators in facet joint disease.
  • Integrating nuclear imaging with conventional anatomical imaging allows for unparalleled diagnostic accuracy.

7. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • Exquisite soft tissue resolution for a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and pathologies.
  • New state of the art wide bore MRI scanners ensure superior diagnostic capabilities and greater patient comfort
  • MR arthrogram.

8. NaF (Sodium Fluoride) PET-CT

  • Highly sensitive in detecting bone stress or bone turnover.
  • Able to localize pain generators that may be amendable to injections or areas of bone stress in failed-back syndrome.


Image-guided procedure 

Cortisone is the short term used to describe a group of drugs called corticosteroids. Cortisone is commonly used in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, to suppress inflammation and/or reduce swelling. They are not the type of steroid used to build up muscles.


Cortisone and radiology‚Äč

Cortisone injections are performed to help treat musculoskeletal problems. The cortisone can reduce or eliminate pain associated with a variety of disorders (e.g tendonitis and bursitis) and could also help confirm or exclude a certain diagnosis based on the body’s response to the cortisone.

The cortisone is injected into the soft tissues or joint where the pain is occurring. In order to ensure the cortisone is administered into the correct area, imaging is used at the same time to guide the radiologist. There are several different methods that can be used depending on the area being examined. In most cases, ultrasound is used, but both fluoroscopic (real-time x-ray) and CT are also used for administering cortisone and local anaesthetic.

What to expect


You need a referral from your doctor to be able to book an appointment for this scan.

You will be informed when you book  of any possible preparation you need to complete before your  procedure.   

If you are having an injection into the spine, hip or knee joint, you will need to arrange a driver to transport you home.


Prior to administering the cortisone, the procedure will be discussed with you, including any risks that may be associated or questions you may have, and your consent will be required.

The skin is cleaned with antiseptic and prepped in a sterile manner, before the radiologist guides the needle into place. The degree of discomfort experienced is generally mild as the needle is small and local anaesthetic is utilised, but some pain may be experienced.


After the examination, you can resume light activity. We do not recommend applying strain to the tendons treated, therefore the operation of heavy equipment is not recommended within the day and participation in sports should not take place for at least one week.

For injections into the spine, hip or knee, a driver is required to transport you home.


There are risks with any drug treatment, but complications are rare with cortisone injections.

Other risks including allergy or infection are uncommon.

Book a Musculoskeletal Scan


How long does it take for steroid knee injections to work?

The immediate effect is usually from the local anesthetic injected. This wears off in a few hours. The cortisone starts working in about 3 to 5 days and its effect can last for several days to a few months.

What should I do after a cortisone injection?

1) Protect the injection area for a day or two 2) Apply ice to the injection site as needed to relieve pain 3) Watch for signs of infections, including increasing pain, redness and swelling that last more than 48 hours 4) Do not use a bathtub, hot tub or whirlpool for two days

Can I go back to work after a cortisone injection?

For injections into the spine, hip or knee, you should have someone to drive you back home. Local anaesthetic and steroid injections are usually very well-tolerated and you can go back to work the next day.

Is PRP treatment painful?

Patients typically experience significant reduction in pain after the first or second injection. Generally speaking, PRP injections are not painful; however, the discomfort level depends on the part of the body being treated. Injections into the joint are of minimal discomfort.

How often should PRP be done?

Up to three PRP injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.


ACC: No Charge – Specialist Referred only

Private / Insurance: For an estimate of cost, please phone 0800 497 297 or email [email protected] with a copy of your referral.