The hip joint is the structure of the body where the legs connect with the pelvis. In the event an individual suffers from injury, arthritis, or some degree of mechanical stress on the hip joint, the individual may experience pain in either the buttocks, lower back, hips, or in the legs. A hip joint injection is considered as a treatment option for individuals experiencing any of these forms of pain. The injection helps to not only provide pain relief but to diagnose the underlying cause of the pain, a dual function of this procedure.
As the name of the procedure suggests, a fluoroscope is utilized to help accurately guide the the insertion of the needle and to help avoid touching any nerves and reduce the possibility for injury to the patient. The fluoroscope is positioned right over the hip. The patient is highly advised to avoid any strenuous activity on the day of the procedure.
The procedure starts off with the patient being connected to an IV tube in order to provide relaxing medication should it be deemed necessary during the course of the procedure. The patient will be directed to lie face down on the table and the skin surface around the hip area will be sterilized using antiseptic solution. Once that is down, local anesthetic is applied to numb the area and then a small needle is inserted through the numbed skin and with guidance from the fluoroscope, properly and carefully directed towards the hip joint. In order to be certain that the needle is accurately positioned, contrast dye may be injected to ensure the medication only affects the joint in question. Then, a combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication is injected into the joint to help reduce pain and inflammation.
The actual course of the injection requires only a few minutes but the procedure overall may last between half an hour to an hour. Once the procedure is complete, the patient will remain resting for a period of up to half an hour and then be directed to turn on the area that initially experienced discomfort prior to the procedure to stimulate the occurrence of pain from that area. Depending on whether the joint that received the injection was the source of the initial pain, the patient may or may not experience pain relief.