What are joint injections?
If you have a swollen or painful peripheral joint (such as the hip shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist, foot, and ankle) your symptoms can be relieved by injecting a steroid medication into the affected joint to help relieve pain, reduce the inflammation and improve the joint movement. Pain relief after an injection may last for several weeks to many months. The injections may be also repeated if our doctor deems them necessary, as the more long-term benefit may be obtained after subsequent injections.
Peripheral joint injections are performed as an outpatient procedure in our state-of-the-art facilities, with local anesthesia, and require no special preparation. A small needle is placed into the area using fluoroscopic guidance and confirmed with a small amount of radiographic contrast. The precise placement of the needle with imaging guidance allows our doctors at Southwest Spine & Sports in Scottsdale, AZ, to administer a small dose of steroid to the affected joint with minimal side effects.
What are the benefits of joint injections?
There are many benefits to joint injections, including:
- Reduced inflammation
- Pain relief
- Quicker treatment results
- Alleviation of joint stiffness
- Increased mobility
- Customized treatment options
"SW Spine & Sports is on top of their game. Dr Wolf was fast, efficient, thorough, and pleasant. Hard to ask much more!"- M.L. / Google / Feb 09, 2023
"Dr Wolff really took the time to listen to why I was there and did an ultrasound at my first visit to see what was causing all of my pain. I left with a game plan to alleviate my pain."- H.M. / Google / Feb 09, 2023
"Quick responses, thorough and very effective treatment every time my husband and I see Sheila or Dr. Wolff."- S.P. / Yelp / Feb 03, 2023
"Been going to Southwest Spine & Sports for years. Dr. Wolff and team are simply the best."- M.K. / Google / Feb 03, 2023
"I haven't made an appt yet because I would like to hear outcomes from Discseel injections. 6months, 1 year, 2year ,etc. Dr Wolffe sees like an awesome provider. I hope I get the outcome data I ned to proceed with an appt. Again it would be so helpful to know your outcome after discseel procedure. Did u get pain relieve/ how long, did it change your life for the better? Warm thank you"- L.M. / Google / Feb 01, 2023
AM I a Candidate for Joint Injections?
You may be a candidate for joint injections if:
- You have been diagnosed with arthritis
- Your disease hasn't progressed too far
Additionally, these injections can be provided for various areas of the body, including:
Why Inject the Facet Joint?
Facet injection is performed to help diagnose and/or treat pain related to disease or injury of the posterior joints of the spine. Injection of these joints is an accurate and definitive way to diagnose facet joint pain syndrome because certain joints may appear abnormal but not cause pain, and conversely, the problem joints may appear nearly normal.
How are Joint Injections done?
You will be asked to lie nearly flat on your stomach. Under local anesthesia, using x-ray guidance, a small needle is positioned into the facet joint or along the facet joint nerves. A small injection of dye may be used to check the positioning. Medication is then injected (usually a mixture of anti-inflammatory steroids and long-acting anesthetic). Each injection takes about 15 minutes. Multiple levels on either one or both sides may be performed in the same session, depending upon your symptoms.
What Should I Expect After My Joint Injections?
You may experience numbness and/or relief from your pain for up to six hours after the injection. This is due to the long-acting local anesthetic that was used to numb the treatment area. Because of this numbness, you may want to have someone drive you home from your appointment. While there is typically little to no downtime after a joint injection, your usual symptoms may return and feel briefly worse than usual for a day or two as the joint reacts to the steroid. Some may experience bruising and/or soreness at the injection site. The beneficial effects of the steroid injected usually require 2 – 3 days to begin, and it may take as long as a week to reach optimal effectiveness. If the injection blocked your pain effectively, but only for a short time, we may suggest additional injections or a procedure that offers more permanent relief, such as radiofrequency thermocoagulation.
Get Relief For Joint pain
This injection is often the first step in treating stubborn joint pain. It can be used to alleviate pain in the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, or wrist joints. Learn more by contacting Southwest Spine & Sports in Scottsdale, AZ, to schedule your initial consultation with our skilled team.
Joint Injections FAQ
What are facet joints?
Facet joints are located on the back of the spine on each side where one vertebra slightly overlaps the adjacent vertebrae. They guide and allow the complicated movements of the spine.
What is facet joint syndrome?
Facet joint syndrome involves a constellation of symptoms resulting in diffuse pains that do not fit a clear nerve root pattern. These pains are typically worsened with cold, damp weather and movement of the spine, such as standing, walking, and turning in bed.
Do facet joint injections hurt?
While you may feel slight pressure or discomfort, most patients don't find the procedure painful. The doctor will be interested in how this discomfort compares to your usual pain symptoms and monitor you to ensure you stay comfortable.
What are the risks of facet joint injections?
As with any procedure, there are some inherent risks, although most of these are minimal. Common risks include but are not limited to bruising, bleeding, headaches, and irritation of a nerve or nerve injury, including paralysis, numbness, and weakness. Risks also include infection or reactions to the medications, which may cause breathing difficulties and cardiac difficulties, which may lead to death. Serious risks and complications are extremely rare, however.
How soon will I get pain relief after my joint injections?
It depends on the cause of your joint pain, your health, and your body's response to the injections. On average, most patients can expect the beneficial effects of the steroid injection to take about 2 – 3 days to begin, and it may take as long as a week.