Injections into joints using a corticosteroid are used when joints, such as a knee or shoulder, are painful and inflamed. The medicine injected into the joint is a combination of local anesthetic and corticosteroid. The local anesthetic numbs the painful area while the injected corticosteroid is used to reduce inflammation in the joint. These type of injections are performed by a physician using ultrasonic guidance. Pain relief may take three to five days, however maximum relief may take up to two weeks.
About your procedure Injections near or within joints may be recommended when joints are painful or inflamed. Your health-care provider will determine whether the injections will be done in an exam room or in a room with an X-ray machine.
During the procedure
You may be asked to change into a gown (depending on the location of your injection site) and to use the restroom. You are fully awake during the entire procedure. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. You may have some discomfort during the injection. Tell your health-care provider if you have significant discomfort; you may be given more local anesthetic.
Your health-care provider will inject a preparation of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid into the joint. The local anesthetic initially numbs the area to reduce pain, and it may wear off after two to eight hours. The corticosteroid reduces inflammation; it is not the type of steroid that builds muscles.
Relief of inflammation and pain may occur in three to four days. Maximum pain relief may take up to two weeks after the injection. You may have long-term pain relief — for weeks to months.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Injection Therapy
Hyaluronic acid injection therapy is used to treat osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. HA is a natural substance injected into the joint of the knee to cushion, lubricate and help protect knee joints with OA. Prior to injection of HA, the physician will inject a local anesthetic. This type of intra-articular injection is used when conservative therapies alone are not providing adequate relief of pain from OA. HA injections are performed by a physician using ultrasonic guidance. HA injections are completed in a series of three injections into the knee, each 4-7 days apart.