How Can They Help?

Joint injections may decrease the accumulation of fluid and cells in the joint and may temporarily decrease pain and stiffness. They may be given to treat inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, tendonitis, bursitis and, also, osteoarthritis. Commonly injected joints include the knee, shoulder, elbow, hip.

What Is The Process?

Joint injections or aspirations (taking fluid out of a joint) are performed in an office or hospital setting, often with a cold spray or other local anesthesia. After the skin surface is thoroughly cleaned, the joint is entered with a needle attached to a syringe. At this point, either joint fluid can be obtained (aspirated) and used for appropriate laboratory testing or medications can be injected into the joint space. This technique also applies to injections into a bursa or tendon sheath to treat bursitis and tendonitis, respectively. Hip joint injection may require the aid of an ultrasound or X-ray called fluoroscopy for guidance. Some small joints may also be more easily aspirated or injected with aid of ultrasound.