Joint Injections

Frequently Asked Questions on Joint Injections – Hip, Knee, Shoulder

Over time the fluid in your joints can begin to thin out and become watery. This causes the natural cushion to become less effective. It can be painful when the two bones rub against each other without that nice cushion. Joint injections work to replace this fluid so that your joints can work like normal. The injections may also reduce inflammation and swelling in the joint space which will help reduce pain and irritation around or at the joint.

What can I expect from my Joint Pain Injection procedure?

The injection site will be cleaned with an iodine solution to ensure that any germs on the surface of your skin are eliminated. A local anesthetic will be applied next to the skin. The doctor will then insert a needle in the joint and draw out any excess fluid around the joint.

Some doctors will use ultrasound equipment to ensure that they can see where they are guiding the needle. The doctor will inject the needed fluid into the joint. It is a quick procedure and you should be able to leave directly after the treatment and return home.

What to do once you get home from procedure?

Your doctor will let you know if there is any specific things that you should do once you get home. This all depends on the procedure but with most joint injection procedures, you will want to ice you joint for about ten minutes every hour or two for 48 hours after your procedure. Any strenuous activities should be avoided for at least 48 hours after the injection. This includes prolonged standing, lifting of heavy objects, and running or jogging.

What are the possible side effects?

This depends on the treatment for the most part. One of the most popular joint injection treatments is the Visco-Supplement procedure. There are less side effects with this procedure than with the other joint procedures. One of the common side effects of all of the procedures is soreness around the injections site. Some allergic reactions have occurred but were mild.

How do Visco-Supplement injections differ from Cortisone injections?

Corticosteroids are a powerful class of medication that works to reduce inflammation. It is not a pain reliever but rather it would reduce the inflammation which reduces the pressure and the pain. Cortisone injections can cause injury to the joint especially if the injections are repeated. They can cause the joint cartilage to thin and the ligaments to weaken.

Visco-Supplements are formulas made with hyaluronic acid which occurs naturally in the body. It is the fluid that your joints contain naturally. This gel-like substance lubricates and protects the joint which can reduce pain. It acts as a cushion every time you apply pressure. It can help make every day activities easier to accomplish. A single injection in the knee can last for up to six months and can be repeated indefinitely. Some patients even experience longer periods without pain after the first few injections.

 

Corticosteroid Injections for Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Health Center. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/corticosteroid-injections-for-osteoarthritis

Joint Injection/Aspiration. (2012). American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved from https://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/jointinjection.asp