Joint injections, also called intra-articular injection is a medical procedure used to alleviate the pain and improve the functions of the joints with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, bursitis, gout, carpal tunnel syndrome etc.
Who is a candidate for joint injection?
A person who is suffering from unbearable pain due to any joint inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, gout etc is a good candidate for joint injections. Your health care professional will tell you whether you are ready for joint injection treatment or not. Doctors recommend the joint injection in those who do not respond to other forms of treatment such as oral anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy.
Types of joint injections
Steroid injections: Steroid injections are also called Corticosteroid injections injected into the patients to treat variety of inflammatory diseses. Corticosteroids are the anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat a range of conditions. Hyaluronic acid injections: Hyaluronic acid injections are used to treat the joint pain mainly due to osteoarthritis. Injections are used in patients who are already treated with other forms of treatment and didnn’t work well. Also called visco supplementation. It improves the elasto-viscosity to the erthritic joint.
The expected results of joint injection:
After a joint injection a temporary pain releif will be there caused by anaesthetic. Steroids and hyaluronic acid generally take time to deliver the noticable benefits. Injections can break the pain cycle and inflammation. A patient can do some physical excercises to further strengthen the muscles and allow the joints move again without causing pain and inflammation. The ultimate goals of a joint injection therapy is to prevent the pain which is caused by different inflammatory joint conditions and to improve the quality of one’s life.
As part of step up approach, patient is advised to take injections in to the joints to alleviate their pains and improve functions.
Knee Injections are of three types,
Depot steroids are put in the joints for immediate reduction in pain and inflammation. Side effects involved aggravated pain and susceptibility to infection.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in synovial fluid. As cartilage wears down in osteoarthritis, the level of hyaluronic acid in the joint also decreases.
The intra-articular injection of hyaluronan, known as visco-supplementation, is believed to improve the elasto-viscosity of the arthritic joint by increasing the hyaluronic acid concentration. In clinical practice, hyaluronan injections are performed in an effort to reduce pain and improve function. The clinician enters the joint space with a needle, injecting a small amount of hyaluronan product (2.5–5 cc of solution).
The goals of treatment are to reduce pain and improve joint function.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) has healing properties and supposedly reverse the degenerative changes of Osteoarthritis..