The types of joint injections available to patients include:
Corticosteroid injections - Corticosteroid injections use a combination of steroid medication and anesthetics to reduce inflammation in order to decrease pain.
Hyaluronic acid injections - Hyaluronic acid injections are typically used in the knee. These injections are used when corticosteroid injections does not work. By injecting additional hyaluronic acid into the knee, doctors aim to create more lubrication in the joint, helping it to function properly.
Platelet-rich plasma injections Platelet-rich-plasma injections, also known as PRP injections, use the patient’s own blood to stimulate and encourage the body’s natural healing process of the cartilage and tissues within the joints.
Placental tissue matrix (PTM) injections Placental tissue matrix injections, also called PTM injections, use placental tissue collected after a healthy birth. Mothers have the option to donate their placenta after giving birth to a child. Placental tissue helps promote healing because it contains stem cells.
Why Joint Injections Are Performed?
Joint injections are used to treat pain in the hip, knee, and shoulder related to:
- Stress from poor mechanics
- Degenerative arthritis
Joint injections are used to determine the cause of the individual’s pain. For example, if an anesthetic solution is injected into the hip joint and the patient experiences pain relief in the leg, this may indicate that the hip is the source of pain.
What to Expect During a Joint Injection Procedure?
A joint injection procedure can run between 30 minutes to one hour to complete, including recovery and observation time. Joint injections are typically guided using x-ray imaging. Before starting the procedure, the patient will be given a medication via an IV to help them relax. The patient then lies down on an x-ray table and the pain specialist rubs a topical anesthetic on the skin over the area where the injection will be given.
Benefits of Joint Injections
Pain injections for the joints provide minimal soothing of pain when surgery is not an option. Some injections, like placental injections and platelet-rich plasma injections, are free of steroids thus providing additional benefits and they also contain naturally occurring substances (such as blood platelets and stem cells) to help reduce inflammation.
Post Joint Injection Treatment
Patients can go home the same day after a joint injection treatment and can return to normal activities a day after the procedure. Some people may take up to a week or two before they can experience pain relief.