The numbing medicine component provides temporary relief from pain, serving a diagnostic function by confirming or denying if the hip joint is the source of pain. Cortisone works to reduce inflammation in the joint, resulting in long-term pain relief benefits.
The procedure for hip joint injections typically involves the administration of a relaxation medication via an IV line, followed by positioning the patient face down on an X-ray table. The specific area to be injected is then numbed with an anesthetic, which may cause a momentary sting. Using real-time X-ray images (fluoroscopy), the doctor carefully inserts a small needle into the joint. Before administering the medication, a contrast dye is injected to confirm that it will reach the joint. The medication itself is a combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory cortisone, which is slowly administered into the joint. The entire process generally takes around 30 to 60 minutes.
Following the injection, the patient rests for 20 to 30 minutes before moving the joint in order to provoke pain. The degree of pain relief experienced depends on whether the injected joint is the main source of the pain. The patient is advised to track their pain relief over the course of the following week and may be recommended for physical therapy. Even if the pain relief is significant, the patient should gradually increase their activity level over one to two weeks to avoid a recurrence of pain.
The possible risks of hip injections include: swelling and pain in the joint after the injection, infection, depigmentation of skin, local thinning of the skin and rupture of a tendon.
If the injected hip joint is the source of the pain, the pain may reduce two to five days after the injection. However, if no improvement is found within ten days after the injection further diagnostic tests may be required to ascertain the cause of pain.