What is a major joint injection?
Many of the major joints (i.e. hip, knee, shoulder, etc.) of the body are susceptible to arthritic pain due to aging, repetitive use, or injury. A joint injection is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid deposited into the joint space or capsule. The goal of a major joint injection is to provide pain relief by reducing inflammation of the involved joint. A joint injection will not cure the preexisting medical problem (i.e. arthritis, abnormal alignment, etc.) but may improve the level of pain. It is not unusual for someone to need more than one injection to get long term benefit. If the pain is significantly improved no further injection is needed unless the pain returns.
What is actually injected into the joint?
Corticosteroids are not pain relievers. They reduce inflammation. When corticosteroids relieve pain, it is because they have reduced inflammation.
While the inflammation for which corticosteroids are given can recur, corticosteroid injections can provide months to years of relief when used properly. These injections also can cure diseases (permanently resolve them) when the problem is tissue inflammation localized to a small area, such as bursitis and tendonitis.
One the day of your joint injection
Please prepare by eating a small meal before you arrive. No driver is necessary for this procedure. You will be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment.
What should I do after the procedure?
We advise that patients take it easy for a day or so after the procedure. Perform only those activities that are easily tolerated by you.