The hip connects the upper and lower parts of the body while also providing protection for vital organs like the kidneys, liver and spleen. Inflammations caused by injuries and illnesses to the joint result in pain, which may be acute or chronic, moderate or severe, sharp or dull. Fortunately, there is hope in the form of an intraarticular hip injection.
What Is It?
The name is just exactly what it says – a solution consisting of a numbing agent and an anti-inflammatory medication is injected directly into the hip joint. Intraarticular means “into the joint”.
Who Should Consider It?
Individuals who can enjoy the benefits of a hip injection fall into two categories, namely:
- Those whose joint inflammation is due to illnesses like arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout, among other chronic degenerative diseases.
- Those whose joint inflammation is due to injuries sustained in sports accidents, vehicular collisions and other sources of physical trauma to the joint.
Physicians also use the intraarticular hip injection procedure for two purposes, namely:
- To determine if, indeed, the source of pain lies in the hip
- To provide pain relief in case the source generator is, indeed, the hip as determined by the first procedure
Talk to your doctor about your suitability for the procedure. Keep in mind that it may or may not be to your benefit and only a qualified physician can decide on the matter.
How Is It Done?
The intraarticular hip injection procedure is relatively simple with little to no risks involved.
- Lie down on an x-ray table. You will be positioned on your side so that the injection area is closest in proximity to the physician.
- The injection area will be cleaned using an antibacterial solution and then your skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic.
- The contrast dye is injected into the joint. Be sure to inform your physician about any allergies to shellfish, iodine and contrast dyes so that appropriate measures can be taken.
- The needle is positioned on the injection area and the medication is administered.
- The injection area will again be cleaned by the nurse.
Your physician will use x-ray guidance technology to accurately identify the injection site and, thus, inject the medication in the precise spot. This means that there are little risks for the injection needle to penetrate where it should not be in the first place.
The medication contains a combo of steroid to control the inflammation and an anesthetic to block off pain sensations.
What Should Be Done After It?
You should be able to experience significant pain relief within 15 to 20 minutes after the intraarticular hip injection has finished due to the local anesthetic. But your painful symptoms may return within 4 to 6 hours when the local anesthetic wears off.
The good news: The steroid will take effect within 48 to 72 hours and significant pain relief soon follows! Yes, there will be slight swelling, bruising and inflammation of the skin at the injection site but these are temporary and can be alleviated with home care measures. You will be discharged after 30 to 60 minutes when you are already able to walk without difficulty.
Will you benefit from intraarticular hip injection? Perhaps you will, but first consult with your doctor.