What is it a peripheral joint injection?

Injections into joints (knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, etc.) are intro-articular injections. If you have a swollen or painful joint, symptoms can be relieved by injecting a steroid medication into the joint. Sometimes a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) in injected along with the steroid.

What joints are most commonly treated?

We perform the following Peripheral Joint Injections:

  • Ankle Injection
  • Elbow Injection
  • Hip Injection
  • Knee Injection
  • Shoulder Injection

Answers to frequently asked questions

It varies between people; improvement usually starts within 1 to 2 days. If helpful, the injection usually lasts from a few weeks to several months.

The steroid medications are related to cortisone, which is produced by the body itself. The purpose of the injection is to calm down the excessive inflammatory process that may be going on because of injury, excess use, or similar problems. Cortisone injections can also be used for diagnosing some conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist ligament tears, etc. The form of cortisone that I use is called triamcinolone acetonide. It has the longest duration of action and the greatest potency of the cortisone. The most likely side effect is decrease of skin pigmentation in a region about the size of a dime or a quarter. This is not permanent, but may last up to a year.

Side effects are very unlikely. Occasionally, the joint is worse for the first 24 hours after the injection. After that the joint normally settles. If the joint becomes more painful after this, please call 203-598-PAIN (7246) as this could be a sign of infection (a very rare complication). A large number of injections into the same joint may cause damage to the joint.

We put fast acting numbing medicine in the shot. What is it? Lidocaine (a numbing medicine) that we have specially buffered (made the pH the same as the body’s) to take all of the sting out of it and to speed up how fast it works. The Lidocaine usually is effective in one to two seconds. This way, you do not feel the long acting numbing medicine or the steroid medicine, which is actually the medicine that does the job.

There is no firm limit to the number of injections. However, the effect tends to decrease with repeated injections. There could also be problems from a large number of injections into the same joint.

There is no firm rule about this, but you will want to avoid repeating the injection more often than is necessary.

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