What can be injected into the hip joint for pain relief?


Quick Answer

Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the hip to ease pain quickly and fight inflammation, according to WebMD. The needle may be guided into place with the help of imaging technology.

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Full Answer

Injected corticosteroids reduce the swelling, pain, heat and redness in an infected or injured part of the body faster than anti-inflammatory pills, states WebMD. After cleaning the skin with an antiseptic, the doctor may insert a needle into the joint to drain excess fluid. This reduces pressure on the joint, relieves pain and speeds healing. A different syringe is used to inject the joint with corticosteroid, usually mixed with a painkiller. The inflammation is reduced within a few hours, and the relief usually lasts from several weeks to several months. The effects of a corticosteroid shot are limited to the injected joint; stomach upset does not occur as it can with anti-inflammatory drug use.

Side effects of corticosteroids include ulcers in the digestive tract and bleeding; increase in blood pressure and blood glucose levels; eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma; osteoporosis; and weight gain, explains WebMD. Repeated injections may cause weakening of the joint ligaments, injury to the soft tissues and thinning of the cartilage. Experts suggest limiting injections to four shots in any one joint.

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