Joint Injections in Philadelphia – Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Wrist, Ankle, Elbow

Joint injections are used to treat inflammation and pain of the joint spaces. The most commonly injected joint is the knee, which functions to bear weight and allows for running, jumping, and walking.

Who needs joint injections?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 50% of adults over the age of 65 years have arthritis and joint pain. The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which leads to degradation and inflammation of joint cartilage.

What are the types of joint injections?

The type of joint injection the pain management specialist uses depends on the extent of the arthritis, the joint being injected, and the patient’s response to other treatments. Types include:

  • Corticosteroid injections – These medications are used to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid injections – This medication is similar to joint fluid, and it is approved for knee injections and osteoarthritis.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) – With this procedure, the doctor injects the joint with a high concentration of the patient’s own blood platelets. This promotes healing of the damaged joint.

What types of hand and wrist conditions do joint injections help?

Joint injections are used for hand and wrist conditions, such as:

  • de Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Trigger finger
  • Wrist ganglion cysts
  • Epicondylitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

What foot and ankle conditions are treated with joint injections?

Foot and ankle conditions respond to joint injections, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Gout
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthrosis

How is the joint injection procedure done?

The joint injection procedure is a minimally invasive technique, which is done in the outpatient setting. The doctor positions the patient, and cleanses the skin with an antiseptic solution. The needle is inserted into the joint. Before injecting the joint, the doctor may have to withdraw excessive fluid. The joint is injected with the medication, and the needle is removed.

What are the benefits of a joint injection?

Patients who do not respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and other treatments, benefit from joint injections. These procedures are minimally invasive, safe, and have few risks. Injecting a joint allows the patient to enjoy more movement and less pain.

What risks are associated with the joint injection?

As with any minimally invasive procedure, there are some risks and complications associated with this procedure. These include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, tissue damage, and allergic reaction to medications.

What side effects are associated with a joint injection?

Corticosteroids can cause weight gain, elevated blood sugar, and increased blood pressure. Since hyaluronic acid is derived from rooster and chicken combs, patients with poultry and egg allergies are at risk for allergic reaction. Expected side effects include joint tenderness and skin soreness after the injection.

What is the success rate of the joint injection?

Pain relief following a joint injection usually lasts for 3-6 months. Hyaluronic acid injections are often given in a series, spaced 3-6 weeks apart. Research studies where PRP injections were used showed improvement of movement and significant pain relief. In a large review of studies, corticosteroid joint injections were found to be more effective than placebo for pain relief. The efficacy rate was reported at 83% for the treatment of de Quervain tenosynovitis, according to researchers.

Do knee joint injections work?

The success of a knee joint injection depends on the extent of damage and injury to the joint. Recent clinical studies show that knee injections of hyaluronic acid have a 75% success rate. Corticosteroid knee injections have been proven to be moderately effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Resources

Lambert RGW, Hutchings EJ, Grace MGA, et al. (2007). Steroid injection for osteoarthritis of the hip. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum, 56(7):2278–87. doi: 10.1002/art.22739.

Ratini, M. (2012). Hyaluronan injections for knee osteoarthritis. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/hyaluronan-injections-knee

Zelman, D. (2012). Corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/corticosteroid-injections-for-osteoarthritis