Joint injections are done to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Anesthetics or steroids are applied directly to either the joint itself or the tissue located next to the joint. Joint injections are mostly done with the aid of an ultrasound in order to ensure that the injection is applied to the right joint. This procedure can be done for the hip, knee, shoulder, or other joints around the body.
Prior to the commencement of the procedure, a scan may be done in order to precisely pinpoint the exact location where the injection will take place. Once that has been accomplished, the skin will be cleansed using an antiseptic solution and then sterilized. Then the needle will be inserted underneath the skin with the aid of an ultrasound machine to guide the needle to the joint. A combination of steroid medication and anesthetic will be injected into the specific joint.
The procedure is expected to take approximately 15-30 minutes. During the course of the injection, it is possible for the patient to experience some degree of improvement as a result of the effects of the anesthetic. However, once the anesthetic wears off, the patient is prone to experiencing soreness of the joint to a greater extent than prior to the procedure. The patient may need to endure the soreness for about 2-3 days before it dissipates. The patient may start to feel the diminishing of the pain and inflammation sometime 3-5 days after the procedure.
There are very few, if any risks associated with the procedure as it is safe to perform. Generally the procedure will provide beneficial effects for a period of 3 weeks to 3 months. This procedure is meant to alleviate inflammation and the pain, allowing for possible physical therapy to take place, not meant as a long-term solution.