Steroid injections into the joint can help reduce and ease pain, especially for arthritis and joint injuries. Your orthopedic doctor in Phoenix may advise you to have a steroid injection if one or more of your joints have developed inflammation secondary to arthritis, such as the knee and shoulder. While the knee and shoulder are the most commonly injected joints, the hip, wrist, and elbow can also receive steroid injections.
Most Phoenix and Scottsdale orthopedic specialists do not use a steroid joint injection as first-line treatment. Alternative therapies include painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, topoical creams and physical therapy. You should first speak with the doctor regarding which option is best for you.
The Steroid Joint Injection Process
The Phoenix orthopedic surgeon will use a steroid that is similar to those your body produces naturally, such as hydrocortisone, prednisolone, or methylprednsolone. These steroids are fairly effective and last for quite a while. The pain relief will last for around two weeks to two months, as this depends on the type of steroid used and the extent of the joint damage and injury.
Before the procedure, your doctor will first give you instructions and a full explanation of side-effects and follow-up care. This is your chance to ask questions regarding the risks and benefits of a steroid joint injection. You will probably have to sign a consent form, showing that you agree for this procedure to take place. The injection most always contains a local anesthetic, which is mixed with the steroid medication or given separately beforehand.
The Arizona orthopedic specialist will examine the area, and then cleanse the skin with alcohol or betadine solution. After this, the doctor will inject the medication into the joint. Some specialists may use x-rays or ultrasound during the procedure that guide the injection to correct area. Also, if you have fluid on the joint, the AZ orthopedic doctor may first withdraw this before injecting the steroid medication.
After the Steroid Joint Injections
Once you receive the steroid joint injection, it may take several hours before you notice the pain relief benefits. Take special care not to rub, bump, or knock the joint after you receive the injection. Before you leave the orthopedic specialist’s office, he will advise you on home care, which will include some exercises and particular movements for the joint. Depending on which joint was injected, you may need someone to drive you home after the steroid joint injection.
While recovering from the steroid joint injection, expect to feel mild discomfort, as it takes a bit for the medication to take effect. The numbing medicine works right away, while it may take a few days for the cortisone to start to work. The doctor will advise you on which pain medication to use if this occurs. For those patients who are to see a physical therapist, follow the specialist’s and the doctor’s advice during the recovery process.
Joint Procedure Risks and Side Effects
While risks, complications, and side effects are rare, they do occur. As with most medical procedures, the doctor will explain fully what to do, should any of these issues occur. They include:
- Thinning or color change of the skin around the injection site
- Flushing of the face
- Increased pain and swelling at the site of injection
- Slight infection that requires antibiotics
- Changes in mood, irritability, or insomnia
- Changes in menstrual cycle
One of the top orthopedic doctors in Phoenix and Scottsdale is Dr. Sumit Dewanjee with FXRX. He offers cortisone injections, bracing, regenerative medicine stem cell therapy and Board Certified minimally invasive orthopedic procedures.
Call (480) 449-3979 for more information and scheduling with the orthopedic surgeon Arizona trusts!