FAQ’s on Joint Injections
What is a Joint Injection?
Injections into painful joints may allow individuals to receive pain relief from arthritis. These injections may consist of steroid medication, numbing medicine or possibly one of the newer treatments with hyaluronic acid, PRP therapy or stem cell therapy.
What can a Joint Injection potentially treat?
Symptomatic pain that has become a problem in the joints of the body can be treated by a joint injection. This procedure involves injecting either a small amount of local anesthesia or corticosteroid—or both—into the joint with the goal of reducing inflammation within the joint to provide relief for pain and restore function to the area.
Spinal joints are referred to as facet joints. They are subject to the same type of cartilage degeneration as other joints in the body. So facet injections may be extremely helpful for pain relief.
How is the affected joint diagnosed?
The joint injection procedure is no less complicated than a muscle injection, and is a fairly simple procedure. The treatment begins with a thorough physical examination to determine whether the source of pain or inflammation is, in fact, a joint, rather than a muscle, ligament or tendon.
How is the joint injection performed?
Placing medication into a joint may or may not necessitate the use of fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance. The knee joint, for instance, is fairly superficial and my be injected freely. The hip joint, however, has a lot of soft tissue overlying it, so guidance is typically used.
After the skin is properly cleansed, the Denver pain management doctor uses the fluoroscope to guide a very small needle to the joint location. Then, if necessary a small amount of dye is injected in the target area to ensure that the needle has been accurately positioned. Finally, the prescribed medication is injected into the joint gradually in small amounts.
For longer-term pain relief, some joint injections employ the use of steroids, like cortisone, to aid in reducing inflammation and extending the duration of the anesthetic. Thus, joint injections can work extremely well for chronic pain sufferers and are able to be repeated every few months as needed to maintain relief for a patient.
Are there any risks/side effects associated with the joint injection procedure?
Although joint injection is an uncomplicated procedure, problems may occur due to individual physical composition. There is a small risk of infection, swelling, or bleeding at the site of injection. There is also the risk of the physician injecting the medication into an unintended area of the joint.
How quickly can patients expect to feel relief from pain?
Initial pain relief is often immediate when anesthesia is included in the injection medication. This relief can last up to twelve hours before decreasing. Following this brief stint of relief, there may be some discomfort felt as well as swelling at the injection site. This will fade in time, with more long-term effects generally being noticeable within 2 to 4 days of the joint injection procedure as the “steroid kicks in”.
Overall, joint injections provide approximately 75% good to excellent results for pain relief lasting from weeks to months.
If you are suffering from joint arthritis or post-traumatic pain in a joint, call Colorado Pain today and get connected with the best pain management Denver trusts. These clinics offer comprehensive nonsurgical therapy for joint arthritis, which may include steroid or regenerative medicine injections.
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