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Joint Injections

Joint Injections: Types, Procedure and Benefits

Living with joint pain presents certain challenges. It interferes with one’s daily activities, limiting flexibility and movement. Joint injections provide a non-surgical, practical way to relieve pain and restore your grade of life. Today, we will discuss the types, benefits, and uses of joint injections.

What Is Joint Injection?

A joint injection involves administering medication directly into the joint space to reduce pain and inflammation. These injections treat conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and gout. Joint injections can provide targeted relief by delivering medication precisely where needed, often more effectively than oral medications. As a result, joint pain injections have been gaining more popularity, with an expected CAGR of 8.7% in the next ten years.

Who Is a Candidate for Joint Injections?

Determining whether you’re a candidate for joint injections depends on several factors, including the specific condition you’re dealing with and the severity of your symptoms. Joint injections may be suitable for patients experiencing:

  • Chronic joint pain that remains unrelieved by traditional treatments and physical therapy.
  • Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and gout.
  • Limited joint mobility due to inflammation and pain.
  • Individuals who are looking for non-surgical pain relief options.

If you resonate with the above conditions, you might be eligible for joint injections. However, the type of injection needed may vary depending on your needs.

What Are the Types of Joint Injections?

There are various types of joint injections based on the use case and target area for relief. Below are the common types as per a patient’s needs and specific condition:

  • Corticosteroid Injections: These injections help relieve sudden pain in conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis. They reduce pain and assist in delaying the need for surgeries. The effect typically lasts between a few weeks and a few months.
  • Hyaluronic Acid (knee gel) Injections: These are special knee injections for osteoarthritis. They help restore the natural properties of the knee joint fluid, which can become watery due to this condition. They also help lubricate the joints and improve their elasticity. The relief can last for a few months.
  • Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: Platelet-rich plasma injections promote healing and tissue regeneration in tendon injuries and certain arthritic conditions. It utilizes the blood platelets that are injected into the affected part, which then provides pain relief and accelerates healing and cell regrowth in that area. The period of relief may vary.

Though there are various types of joint injections, the administration procedure remains mostly the same. Let’s discuss what to expect while getting a joint injection.

What to Expect During a Joint Injection Procedure?

There are several steps involved in a joint injection procedure. The specific steps may vary depending on the type of injection. However, understanding what to expect during a joint injection procedure can help ease any anxiety and ensure you are well-prepared. Here’s a detailed overview of the process:

Before the Procedure:

  • Initial Consultation: A medical professional may perform some tests and analyze your medical history to determine whether a knee injection for pain is suitable for you.
  • Medication Management: Your provider may ask you to stop certain medications to prevent complications.
  • Fasting Period: On the day of the procedure, you might need to avoid eating or drinking for a few hours.

During the Procedure:

  • Proper Positioning: You will be positioned to provide proper access to the injection area.
  • Cleaning of Injection Site: The injection site is cleaned to prevent infection.
  • Local Anesthesia: The area is numbed using a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort.
  • Injection: The medication is injected into the targeted location using a fine needle and imaging guidance.

After the Procedure:

  • Initial Results: You may experience immediate pain relief, or the results will appear soon after the procedure.
  • Temporary Discomfort: Apply ice to reduce any side effects like swelling and pain.
  • Physical Activities: Avoid strenuous activities for a few days and take precautions to prevent complications.

What Are the Possible Risks of Joint Injections?

Joint injections are fairly common and safe procedures. However, some infections or allergies may occur in the area of injection. The common ones include:

  • Medication Allergies or Infections: An individual may be allergic to the medication, disinfectant, or anesthetic used during the procedure.
  • Post-injection Flare: Sometimes, the injection area may swell or flare up. This condition can cause slight pain but usually goes away in a few days.
  • Depigmentation or Skin-thinning: The affected area may become whitish, or the skin may grow thinner at the injection site.

Minor side effects or allergies are common after joint injections. However, if persistent discomfort or complications occur, one must consult a medical professional immediately.

Benefits of Joint Injections

Arthritis, injuries, or certain age-related conditions can cause joint problems for individuals. Joint injections can be beneficial for people affected by severe pain. For instance, joint injections for arthritis provide pain relief and improved mobility in this condition. Other benefits can be:

  • Rapid Pain Relief: Unlike oral medications, which need to be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to the affected area, injections deliver medication directly to the source of pain, providing faster relief.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation is a common cause of joint pain and stiffness; by minimizing it, injections can help improve overall joint function and comfort.
  • Better Flexibility and Control: Joint injections improve joint movement and flexibility and enable individuals to engage more freely in physical activities.
  • Targeted Treatment: Due to the direct administration of pain medication in the location, joint injections provide targeted treatment with fewer side effects.
  • Avoidance of Surgeries: Joint injections help manage severe pain and related symptoms and avoid surgical interventions that may be more invasive.

Joint Injections: A Less Invasive, Non-surgical Treatment for Joint Pain

Joint injections involve medications directly injected into the joint area to provide immediate and effective relief from pain and inflammation. They prove more beneficial than pills or surgeries as they are minimally invasive and reduce dependencies on over-the-counter medications. Joint injections are safer procedures. However, one must consult an experienced provider before opting for them.

Apex Interventional Pain & Spine for Safe and Effectual Joint Injection Procedures

At Apex Interventional Pain & Spine, we have a team of experienced providers skilled in treating several pain conditions. Our multimodal treatment methods include joint injections for expedited relief. Our facility offers safer treatments and optimal care for joint injection procedures. Contact us today and take a step towards eliminating joint pain from your life.

FAQs:

How much does a joint injection cost?

The cost of a joint injection can vary depending on the type and your insurance coverage. Consult your healthcare provider for specific information.

How painful is a joint injection?

Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure due to local anesthetics. Any post-injection pain is usually mild and temporary.

How long do joint injections last?

The duration of relief varies depending on the type of injection, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

What is the difference between a steroid shot and a cortisone shot?

There is no difference; both terms refer to the same type of injection that uses corticosteroid medication to reduce inflammation.

 

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