What are Joint Injections?
A joint injection is used to reduce pain caused by an inflamed joint. The cause of joint pain can be vague; it can be due to arthritis, degeneration, or an injury. Joint injections have two purposes; to diagnose whether or not the joint is the source of the pain and to relieve inflammation and pain caused by different conditions.
In addition to discussing whether or not joint injections fit into your treatment plan, your healthcare provider will order several tests prior to giving you a joint injection to ensure you are an ideal candidate for this procedure.
What Can Joint Injections Treat?
Corticosteroid injections have the potential to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The relief can last anywhere from days to years. These injections can treat certain types of tendonitis, joint irritation and inflammation, and arthritis. It can also be used to alleviate pain in joints that have experienced a previous fracture or injury. Injections can be made to the following areas:
- Facet joints in the spine
- Sacroiliac joints
- Hip joints
- Shoulder, elbow, and hands joints
- Knee, ankle, and foot joints
Who Is a Good Candidate for Joint Injections?
Patients with pain from joint inflammation may benefit from a steroid injection. Typically, this procedure is recommended for patients who do not respond well to conservative methods, such as rest, therapy, or anti-inflammatory medication. Steroid joint injections utilize x-ray guidance and shouldn’t be performed on patients with an infection, those who are pregnant, or those with bleeding problems. This injection has the potential to elevate blood sugar and blood pressure.
What to Expect
Your healthcare provider will perform the procedure after reviewing your medical history and studying previous imaging studies. This procedure is typically outpatient. It is important to arrange someone to drive you to and from the outpatient center the day of your procedure.
You will be asked to sign consent forms and list your medications if you are currently taking anything. You will lie on the x-ray table while a local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area to avoid discomfort. You will remain awake during this procedure. With the use of x-ray technology, the needle will be inserted into the affected region. Here, the corticosteroid will be injected into the joint capsule and then removed.
Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following their procedure. You may be monitored for a short time but you can usually leave the office immediately. However, you should find someone to take you home. Discomfort around the injection site can be relieved by using ice.
AMA medical group was founded to support every member of the community. If you think you need a joint injection for your condition and are experiencing pain and discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact us at (727) 331-8740 to schedule an appointment.