Joint Injections

Joint Injections by Dr. Vivek Loomba


Joint Injections are administered to patients with an injury, wear and tear, or an inflammatory disease. They are procedures in which injection is applied to damaged joint tissues. It is performed for the purpose of pain relief in the affected area as well as for improving the motion of movement in joints. 

It stipulates a special line covering to avoid rubbing of bones by covering the end of bones called cartilage for easy and smooth functioning of the joints. If the cartilage becomes damaged and weak then it causes loss of movement also resulting in severe joint pain. 

Types of Joint Injections

Joint injections are significantly addressed in providing long-term relief from pain. Some joint pains are non-curable such as in disorders such as arthritis, and therefore joint injections play an important role in those times. 

There are several types of joint injections listed by the UCSF Pain Management Center such as –

  • Shoulder Joint injection
  • Knee Joint Injection
  • Hip Joint Injection
  • Wrist Injection

What is the procedure for Joint Injections?

For a joint injection procedure, a patient is told to lie on his stomach on an X-ray table. The targeted area skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution to avoid site infection and the growth of microbes. Local anesthesia is also injected for numbing the area. An X-ray, Ultrasound, or fluoroscopy will guide in providing an exact image of the targeted area for the insertion of the needle. A combination of anesthetics and steroids can be applied by a doctor for effective treatment. Bleeding occurs after needle removal and is stopped by applying pressure and placing a bandage on the area.

This procedure lasts for less than 20 minutes.

Risks of Joint Injections

The possible side effects of joint injections are-

  • Allergic reactions to the medicines injected into joints, tape, or disinfectant to clean the skin.
  • Joint swelling and pain for several hours after corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injection.
  • Temporary increase in pain lasting for few days and can be managed with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Depigmentation or whitening of the skin.
  • Thinning of skin on the injection site.
  • Rupture of the tendon on the injection site.

A joint injection is not recommended for patients with an infection present in or around the joint pain. Also, it should be avoided if a patient has a serious allergy to medications provided for joint pain relief. Talk to your healthcare provider about the complications and risks involved and also let them know about your allergies and infections for essential safety.