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What is a joint injection?
A joint injection is an injection of a steroid or other medication into a joint; at place two bones move against each other and are surrounded by a joint capsule.
What is the purpose of a joint injection?
The medication injected, usually a steroid, is meant to reduce the inflammation and/or swelling of tissue in the joint space. This may in turn reduce pain, and other symptoms caused by inflammation or irritation of the joint ad surrounding structures.
How long does the joint injection take?
The actual injection takes only a few minutes.
What is actually injected?
The injection typically consists of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication.
Will the joint injection hurt?
The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues. So, there is some pain involved. However, we sometimes numb the skin and deeper tissues with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle before inserting the needle into the joint.
Will I be "put out" for the joint injection?
No, This procedure is done with a small gauge needle usually with or without any local aesthetic.
How is the joint injection performed?
It is done with the patient in whatever position allows the best access into the joint. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers ad knees are often injected with the patient sitting. Hips, knees, ankles and toes are often injected with the patient lying down. The skin is cleaned with antiseptic solution and then the injection is carried out. A Band-Aid is usually applied.
What should I expect after the joint injection?
Immediately after the injection, you may feel that your pain may be gone or quite less. This is due to the local anesthetic injected. This will last only for a few hours. Your pain will return and you may have a sore joint for a day or two. This is due to the mechanical process of needle insertion as well as initial irritation from the steroid itself. You should start noticing pain relief starting the 3rd to 5th day or so.