Sports Imaging

Sports Imaging is the branch of radiology which caters for the musculoskeletal imaging needs for athletes of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the professional athlete, serious marathon runner, recreational jogger and people who simply wish to improve their general fitness.

Though the health benefits of regular exercise are well known, sporting pursuits often result in injury. Sporting injuries are generally divided into two main groups:

  • Those which are due to overuse i.e. repetitive action, such as tendinosis, arthritis and stress fractures
  • Those which are traumatic, such as a shoulder dislocation, or fracture.

Following a clinical assessment by a doctor, many athletes require some form of imaging to confirm the suspected diagnosis and assess its severity.  At South Coast Radiology we provide a full sports imaging service including general X-Ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound and interventional procedures for acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries and ailments.

Our expert radiologists, many of whom enjoy sport, understand the complexities of musculoskeletal sports injuries and have the necessary expertise to deal with all facets of sports medicine imaging and image guided intervention whether common or rare. If you are a health care specialist needing expert advice about the best imaging modality for your patient, simply call one of our radiologists to discuss specifics.

Once a diagnosis has been made, imaging guided treatment, also known as interventional radiology, may be required, such as a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection of a muscle tear or cortisone into an inflamed joint.  Such procedures are performed at South Coast Radiology either with the use of ultrasound or CT fluoroscopic guidance.

Common modalities for Sports Imaging:

Find out more about the services we offer in this area

Please note; not all services are listed below, and not all services are available at every site


Cortisone & Steroid Injection

Cortisone and Steroid injections combine hydrocortisone and a long-acting local anaesthetic, to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It can be injected into areas of concern causing pain and inflammation. For sports injuries and pain management, Cortisone and Steroid injections will reduce or eliminate pain associated with:

  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis and joint degeneration
  • Nerve pain, including spine and carpal tunnel
  • Tendonitis and tenosynovitis – plantar fasciitis, trigger finger, de Quervain’s, tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Frozen shoulder – adhesive capsulitis
  • Ganglion cyst

Depending on the area of pain, CT, fluoroscopy or ultrasound is used to ensure the needle delivering the treatment is exactly within the area suspected of causing pain to maximise pain relief. When a fluid collection is present (such as a ganglion), fluid might be removed to relieve distension before cortisone is injected.

Cortisone is a legal steroid medication.

Nerve Block

People who suffer acute or chronic spine pain affecting the neck, buttocks, legs or arms might benefit from a nerve block injection to achieve temporary pain relief. A nerve block is used to treat a particular nerve or group of nerves by injecting an anaesthetic or anti-inflammatory agent, which will switch-off pain signals or decrease inflammation. CT or fluoroscopy is used for needle guidance, to ensure the needle is correctly placed to maximise pain relief.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is an injection that helps speed the body’s natural healing abilities. A small amount of the patients blood is taken and treated to extracted the platelets, which is then injected into the area of concern. A high concentration of platelets carry Platelet Growth Factors and assist with rebooting the repair cycles in certain body issues. PRP can offer an alternative to surgery as many parts of the body can be treated with PRP therapy, common examples include muscle, ligament and tendon tears and damage, injuries to the; shoulder (rotator cuff repair), elbow (tennis elbow), hip (abductors in Trochanteric Bursitis), knee (patellar Tendon, degeneration and Osteoarthritis) and ankle and foot (Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fasciitis).

PRP Injections are delivered by one of our specially trained Radiologists, and is carried out using Ultrasound or X-ray.

Usually 2 or more injections are required several weeks apart. Patients are encouraged to rest and refrain from any significant activity involving the body part for one week.

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injection is the accurate placement of a very thin needle, at a given level in this space, to inject a steroid and long-acting local anaesthetic. This is performed under the guidance of CT or X-ray as image guidance enables greater accuracy in delivering steroid treatment to the appropriate spinal region.

Your doctor may have referred you for an Epidural if you are suffering from severe or prolonged (chronic) back pain, pain as a result of disc or facet joint problems, or recurrence of back pain after surgery.

Our specialist trained Radiologist will perform this procedure with a nurse at the following locations: John Flynn Private Hospital, Pindara Private Hospital, Robina, Southport, Smith Street, Tweed, Mackay, Darling Downs.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line