At Arthritis Medical Clinic, our physicians are fully trained to provide injections of different sites, especially with the assistance of Ultrasound for better accuracy.
Joint injections or aspirations (taking fluid out of a joint) usually are performed with a cold spray or other local anesthesia in the office. 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.
Joint aspiration usually is done for help with diagnosis or treatment. Fluid obtained from a joint aspiration can be examined by the physician or sent for laboratory analysis. Drainage of a large joint effusion can provide pain relief and improved mobility. Injection of a drug into the joint may yield complete or short-term relief of symptoms.
Joint injections may decrease the accumulation of fluid 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, osteoarthritis.
Corticosteroids frequently are used. They are anti-inflammatory agents that slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation and pain within the joint space. Hyaluronic acid (Supartz®, Hyalgan®, Synvisc®, Orthovisc®) is a viscous lubricating substance that may relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee for periods up to 6–12 months.