What is an intra-articular joint injection?
Intra-articular joint injections utilize X-ray guidance to place numbing medication and steroids in a joint space, most commonly hips, knees, or shoulders. These are broadly recommended in societal guidelines as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The goal of the intra-articular injection is to reduce inflammation, thereby relieving pain and increasing function.
What should I expect during an intra-articular joint injection?
After confirming the site and side of the injection, the doctor will clean the skin overlying the joint space so as to ensure the procedure is done under sterile conditions. Numbing medicine will be placed into the skin overlying the injection site – you will feel a pinch and a burn while it is administered. Thereafter, you should only feel pressure as the doctor uses X-ray guidance to place a needle into the joint space. Contrast dye is administered to ensure appropriate spread into the joint space. Once confirmed, the doctor will inject a mixture of numbing medicine and steroid into the joint and remove the needle.