Many joints in the body can become inflamed for various reasons and cortisone can be injected directly into the joint reducing the inflammation and thereby the pain. This can be an effective treatment method for knees, shoulders, hips and other joints.
As with the treatment of any disorder, a complete patient medical history and full physical examination are important to differentiate between acute and chronic conditions.
Determination of whether the inflammation is in the muscle, tendon, or joint is of paramount importance. Patients often know exactly where the source of their pain is, having spent hours localizing it.
Sharp, severe, intense pain suggests the presence of a more acute, traumatic reaction with marked inflammation. Dull, low-grade, chronic pain indicates the existence of a mild inflammatory reaction, a chronic overuse injury, or arthritis. Radiation of pain or additional neurologic symptoms (eg, tingling, burning, numbness) imply additional neurologic involvement. Medication history is also important because discontinuation of anti-inflammatory medications often precipitates a reaction. Dietary changes also may precipitate medical reactions, such as an attack of gout.
They are remote, but may include but not limited to infection, bleeding, puncture the lung or the pleura (the surrounding membrane of the lungs) if done near the ribcage or at the neck, failure to alleviate the pain, or increase of the pain.
Once a patient is determined to be a candidate for a joint injection, a sterile field is assembled the affected area is sterilized and the joint is injected with appropriate medications. Anesthetics are also used to “numb” the area.
Post-operative care instructions will be given regarding healing and signs of infection. As well as any medications that may be prescribed. Different types of therapies may also be used: such as Physical Therapy to strengthen the affected areas and supportive structures.