Pain-relieving Joint Injections

Corticosteroid injection (Cortisone)

What is Corticosteroid injection?

A steroid injection is an anti-inflammatory medicine that reduces the pain by reducing the inflammation in the joint. It is most commonly used in inflammatory arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis) and Osteoarthritis to reduce joint swelling and pain.

How is it carried out?

For the knee joint, the injection is usually carried out in the clinic. The hip joint injection is carried out under Xray-image guidance.

The steroid is combined with a local anaesthetic and is administered as a single shot. The procedure takes less than a minute to perform. The local anaesthetic starts working in a few minutes but then ceases its effect in a couple of hours. The steroid can take a few days to produce an effect and then it can last for a few months and sometimes even upto a year. The injection can be repeated in the same joint, if needed, every three months up to 4 times a year.

Is this for me?

The steroid injections do work well in inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis and bursitis (trochanteric bursitis). It is a safe and effective procedure, which has been used for many years especially for mild to moderate arthritis. The side effects are minimal and there is a small chance of having an allergic reaction. Some patients cannot have these injections. Your surgeon will discuss this after carrying out a thorough physical examination. You may need further imaging investigations before being considered suitable for this treatment.

Hyaluronic Acid injection

What is Hyaluronic Acid (Osteonil, Osteonil Plus, Synvisc, Durolane)?

The body naturally produces hyaluronic acid also known as hyaluronan. It is a clear jelly like substance found in large concentrations in your skin, connective tissue, joints and eyes. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist.

Is this for me?

Use of HA joint injections is an alternative non-surgical treatment for joint pain especially due to osteoarthritis. HA has no animal proteins and is suitable for vegetarians. It is unlikely to cause any allergic reactions. It is a safe treatment with very low chances of having any side effects.

How is this carried out?

Before HA injection therapy is considered you will have a full clinical assessment. Your surgeon will discuss various treatment options. Before the treatment is commenced you may require X-rays or MR Scan. You do not require any anaesthetic. Patients are typically treated in an outpatient environment (not in theatre). These are offered as a single injection per joint and the pain relief can last for several months in approximately 8o% of patients. It takes less than a minute to perform the injection. The HA injection can be repeated, if needed, every three months without any significant side effects. You will be advised to avoid any strenuous joint activity for a few days after the injection treatment.

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