An intra-articular joint steroid injection is a therapeutic procedure designed to decrease or eliminate pain symptoms and decrease inflammation within in a joint.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN INTRA-ARTICULAR JOINT STEROID INJECTION?
The steroid injected into the joint can decrease the inflammatory process in the joint, and in turn decrease pain and increase function.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
You will be escorted to the surgical suite and asked to lay on the procedure table. Your blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing) will be monitored during the procedure. The physician will place a small needle in your painful shoulder, hip, knee, ankle or sacroiliac joint. The physician will use a fluoroscope which is a special x-ray machine to visualize the anatomy. A small amount of dye will be injected to accurately place the needle prior to injecting steroid into the joint, The physician usually will inject a small amount of local anesthetic medication through the needle. This is to help make the procedure more comfortable. The full effect of the steroid may take 2-7 days.
WILL THE PROCEDURE BE PAINFUL?
Typically the sedation provided minimizes pain.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS FROM THE INJECTIONS?
The most common risk is local pain from the needle. More serious but extremely rare risks are bleeding, infection, nerve injury, paralysis, or weakness in the extremities.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE PROCEDURE TO WORK?
The beneficial effects are usually appreciated 2-7 days after the procedure.