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Joint Injections

Many people think of joint replacement surgery as the main treatment option for chronic pain in joints, but there are several non-surgical treatment options such as steroid injections that are safe yet effective. These therapeutic injections are administered directly into the joint which helps to reduce inflammation and pain.

Also, because of their long-lasting effects, therapeutic injections are generally recommended for individuals who have been unable to manage their pain with more conservative methods, such as physical therapy or medications.

Depending on your pain, there are different types of therapeutic injections that your orthopedic specialist may recommend.

These include:

Corticosteroids: These are one of the most common types of therapeutic injections that help in relieving joint pain and inflammation.

Epidural: Epidural injections are performed to alleviate spinal pain, as well as pain in the legs or arms that results from an inflamed spinal nerve. Like corticosteroid injections, epidural injections use an anesthetic combined with a corticosteroid but it is injected into the epidural space.

Facet Joint: These injections are used to relieve pain in the neck, middle back, or lower back. The facet joints, which are tiny joints near the back of the spine, connect each vertebra. When these joints begin to degenerate or are injured, injections are used to alleviate the pain.

Sacroiliac: These are similar to facet joint injections, with the exception that they are injected into the sacroiliac joint to relieve pain. These are also used to manage pain in the lower back, buttocks, and leg.

Visco Supplementation: These inject hyaluronic acid into the joint so as to improve the viscosity of joint fluids, which improves joint mobilization. These are used for patients with osteoarthritis as an alternative to surgery.

Risks & Side Effects

Steroid joint injections are considered a safe option for patients who cannot undergo surgery or get no relief from physiotherapy and medications. However, the common risks associated with these joint injections include bleeding, infection, allergic reaction and headache.

Meanwhile, side effects associated with a corticosteroid may include temporary weight gain, water retention, mood swings or insomnia. It may cause elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics. These effects are only temporary and usually disappear within 7-10 days.

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