Therapeutic joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment option used to relieve pain caused by inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout. Corticosteroids are injected into the affected joint, helping to reduce inflammation and pain. The majority of medication activity remains in the targeted injection site, minimizing side effects in most patients.
Therapeutic joint injections are administered with imaging guidance under local anesthesia in order to minimize discomfort for patients.
How should I prepare?
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- No additional preparation needed.
What should I expect?
- You will be asked to lie on an X-ray table. X-rays will be used to determine the best entry point for the injections. Your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic. A local anesthetic (numbing drug) will be used to numb the skin and deeper tissues. The doctor will then place a needle in the joint space and inject numbing medicine and steroids to provide pain control. More than one injection may be required in order to relieve all areas of pain. You may experience temporary weakness in the extremity due to the numbing drug injection. This is a recognized side effect of the injection and will wear off with time.
- Your joint may feel “squishy” for several days.
- Minor complications, such as discomfort or local bleeding/bruising where the needle is inserted, may occur.
- Infection of the joint is a rare but serious complication of joint injection and requires treatment with antibiotics. If you have symptoms of pain, swelling, red skin or fever three or more days after the injection, please contact your physician.
How will I find out the results?
After the procedure, your physician will receive a copy of your results to discuss with you.