What is a Joint Injection?
Joint injections are performed in our Salt Lake office. Joint fluid can be aspirated from a swollen joint, where it will then be take to the laboratory for necessary testing. The main point of the testing to find out where the fluid is coming from and what the fluid is. This knowledge will help our physician better understand your condition and help us make plan on how how to help you. Joint fluid can also be injected into the joint space. Usually steroids or other anti-inflammatory medication is inserted in addition to saline for pain management in the joint. Knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists, and small joints are commonly treated with a joint injections. Hips may also qualify for joint injection, but often need an ultrasound or an X-ray so the doctor knows where to inject.
Why Use Joint Injections?
Injections are primarily used to reduce inflammation of a joint. By injecting medication directly into the joint, it helps to alleviate pain quickly and provides longer-lasting results. Medications taken orally take much longer to start working and often wear off quicker than joint injections do. Steroids directly injected into the joints are common for patients dealing with inflammatory diseases such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis that have not shown improvement with other treatments.
We use non-steroidal injections to reduce pain and inflammation. Our joint injections will assist in improving blood flow to the joint, assisting in boosting the natural healing process. We use a joint injection to ensure the joint is healthy, and to reduce long-term pain. Joint injections are not a permanent cure and will not stop the joint from becoming inflamed again in the future but will provide temporary relief that may last several weeks or months. The majority of patients will receive joint injection treatment every three to four months. If you have questions or concerns about joint injections, contact our Salt Lake Medical Clinic today.
Our office also uses joint injections to diagnose conditions and diseases present among a patients’ joints. These injections and the joint’s reaction to the injections can give the doctors a clue as to what the underlying issue is that is causing your pain. For example, if your leg has been in pain for the last few months and no doctors have been able to pinpoint the cause, but your pain dissipates when an joint injection is inserted in your ankle will tell the doctor that the pain is originating from you ankle and that the problem has to do with that joint.
During Your Joint Injection Appointment
To begin the appointment, you doctor will come in and you will be given a review of the procedure and then given the opportunity to ask questions you may have. After that we will begin by thoroughly cleaning the skin before the joint injection is administered to prevent infection. Cold spray or an anesthetic will be used to numb the injection site. Then the injections will take place in the inflamed joint. The doctor may do multiple injections depending on your injury and situation. The injections take about 15 to 20 minutes and and X-ray or ultrasound may be used to assist the physician in locating the spot needing the injection. The anesthetic will offer immediate relief, and you may be asked to stay in the office for observation for up to 30 minutes. This is to ensure there are no complications or adverse reactions from the injections. These are rare but can happen. Soreness and swelling are common side effect the next few days after the anesthetic wear off, but as the steroid begins working you should notice a difference in your pain level.