Hip Joint Injections

Hip Joint Injections

The hip joint is where the femur meets the pelvis. It connects the upper body to the lower body and is a joint that is used often – for walking, moving from sitting to standing, as well as exercising and jogging. As a result, the cartilage in the hip joint can wear and become injured or diseased, causing incredible pain and lack of mobility.

Women, especially, are at a greater risk for developing issues in the hip joint. This is largely due to hormone fluctuations that loosen the area around the hip during their monthly cycle. Another reason women, especially young women athletes, are more prone to hip joint issues is femoracetubular impingement (FAI). FAI is a condition in which too much friction on the hip joint causes extra bone to grow in the socket. The extra bone can produce tears and arthritis later in life.

Initial treatments options for joint pain include OTC medication, such as Motrin, Tylenol, or an NSAID such as Aleve. Physical therapy is another treatment option, however, if joint pain is not relieved by such remedies, hip joint injections may be the next best option.

Often Used to Treat:

Hip joint injections can also be used as a diagnostic tool due to the anesthetic, or numbing agent, administered prior to injecting a corticosteroid. The relief that follows immediately after application of the anesthetic allows doctors to determine or dismiss whether the original pain is originating from the hip joint.

The most common source of hip joint pain is arthritis, a degenerative disease that transpires when the cartilage on a joint wears down and causes stress on the bone. In addition, hip joint injections can help with the following conditions:

Hip osteoarthritis
Mechanical stress
Sports hernia
Iliopsoas syndrome
IT band syndrome
Tendon Tear

What is the Process for Hip Joint Injections?

Hip joint injections are rendered on an outpatient basis and usually take approximately 30 minutes to up to an hour from start to finish. A fluoroscopy, or live x-ray, is sometimes used to guide proper needle placement and avoid additional injury or nerve damage.  After the initial anaesthetic is injected into the joint, a corticosteroid is then injected to subdue the pain, reduce inflammation, and provide lasting relief. A brief recovery period follows that includes staying off or not using the affected joint for about a day after the shot, applying hot and cold therapy if needed, as well as monitoring for infection, swelling, and redness that lingers beyond 48 hours after the injection.
The full effect of a hip joint injection begins to take effect within two weeks of the injection. Lasting relief varies from patient to patient and can last for weeks to several months.

What Happens After Hip Joint Injections?

The anaesthetic in a hip joint injection may provide immediate relief. People do report a flare in pain and swelling for up to two days following the injection until the steroid takes effect, and while joint injections are performed without incident, potential side effects that could occur include:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness in the leg
  • Skin discoloration
  • Tendon rupture
  • Thinning of the skin around the injection site
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction

Hip joint injections do not heal pain, but they do stop inflammation and pain long enough to allow exercise or physical therapy to resume and potentially yield more permanent results.

Success Rates Associated with Hip Joint Injections

Hip joint injections are purported to be an effective treatment option for hip pain. Research indicates over 80% of patients with FAI found the most relief after a corticosteroid injection.

Dr.Raju Mantena
Dr. Raju Mantena is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist based in the Houston area and has over 15 years of medical experience which he relies upon each day to successfully treat his patients’ acute and chronic pain.

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