Peripheral Joint Injections

The peripheral joint injection helps to relieve pain in the joints. The joint space where the injection takes place is referred to as the intra-articular space. This space is the area that exists between two bones. This is the area where injections are made in order to help alleviate joint pain and inflammation. The injection will not cure the pain, but help manage the level of intensity. Joint pain may come as a result of arthritis, physical injury, or other health-related conditions.

The procedure will be done when medications and other treatment options fail to stem the pain in the joints (the pain may be chronic or acute in nature). For some patients, this may be the best alternative method of treatment, especially if surgery may not be a desired option due to advancement of age or other health-related concerns. The injection can be applied to various joint areas around the body which can include:

  • Ankles
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Shoulders

Depending on what joint the procedure will be performed on, the use of a fluoroscopy may or may not be necessary, but may come into play for shoulder and hip joints. Prior to the injection, the skin will be cleansed (application of alcohol or antiseptic solution) then an anesthetic will be provided to the area of the injection in order to numb the region. A thin needle then penetrates the skin, making its way to the joint causing the pain. A combination of cortisone and numbing medication is then applied to the joint, with little to no discomfort to the patient. The procedure itself will take only a mere few minutes to complete but the patient can expect the procedure to produce benefits for an extended period of time, which can last for a few months.

Patients will be followed up with to ascertain the level of improvement with regards to the pain. As the numbness dissipates, patients can expect the onset of pain for a few days, prior to the effects of the cortisone kicking in. Ice packs can be applied to the area of the injection for a period of 2-3 days after the procedure and patients can start to expect improvement within 2-5 days following the procedure. If improvement does not take place within 10 days of the injection, chances are improvements may not take place. Patients can gradually commence their regular physical and day-to-day activities following improvement over the coming 1-2 weeks, to ensure the pain doesn’t occur again.